Alaskan tent living

Discussion in 'Outings, Trips & Expeditions' started by Bitterroot Native, May 18, 2017.

  1. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Hello BCUSA! For almost the past two weeks I have been living in a tent on the back 40 of some private property nestled along the Tanana River. Unfortunately I haven't had much time to take many photos or do much bushcrafting but I have been really enjoying living outside!

    Tent right after set up, I used a blue tarp as a ground cloth then tucked it under to prevent rain going under the tent.
    IMAG0984.jpg .
    This is basically the view from my camp in every direction.
    IMAG0981.jpg

    Fishing at some lake I forget the name of when this guy casually walked by me. IMAG0987.jpg

    Random pic of the Tanana.
    IMAG0994.jpg

    Arctic greyling!
    IMAG1004.jpg

    I'll take some more pics and add to this thread soon. Just got a nice bear hide for a bedroll and I'll take some pics of the inside of the tent. I'll also do a gear inventory if anyone is interested. Thanks for reading! :dblthumb:
    IMAG1007.jpg
     
  2. perrymk

    perrymk Supporter Supporter

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    What's the situation? Are planning on building a cabin and homestead, just enjoying the summer, temporary cheap place to save some cash, etc.? It looks like a great place to be whatever the situation! Maybe not as much when winter rolls around.

    I'd like to see what you've rigged for a shower or running water in general.
     
  3. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Guide

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  4. Haggis

    Haggis Supporter Supporter

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    Arctic Grayling !!! A bucket list fish for me. Catch one and cook it on the spot is the dream,,,
     
  5. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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  6. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great to hear from you @Bitterroot Native . It looks like you're having a wonderful time. What are you doing for food storage out there?
     
  7. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

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    Awesome. Looking forward to more posts from your Alaska adventure
     
  8. Vilke

    Vilke Scout

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    You are living one of my dreams. I have been in love with Alaska since my first visit back in the early 80's. No matter what the reason that you find yourself doing this, enjoy every moment of it. There are many of us who would jump at a chance to do this. Looking forward to more posts and pictures.
     
  9. central joe

    central joe Guide

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    good post, and great pictures. Glad you are enjoying yourself young fellar. joe
     
  10. trust_no_one

    trust_no_one Tracker

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    Awesome
     
  11. Hoof

    Hoof Former Genius Supporter

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    I guess I never deserved the opportunity to do this. Sounds great!
     
  12. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Awesome, thanks for the update!
     
  13. Fiddlehead

    Fiddlehead Scout

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    Great post, look forward to following your adventure.
    If you get into the town of Tanana look up Stan Zuray a local Boston guy that's been up in Tanana for over 40 years. He started out as you have out in the bush, so I'm sure he could offer helpful information. Seems like a great guy
    He's featured on Discovery's channels Yukon Men series and also has a YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBPYnaZE8co_YbA-bWxTPJw
    Best of luck to you.
     
  14. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Living the dream man. Keep us up-to-date so we can live vicariously through you. Would love to see more pics of the camp and how you're living.
     
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  15. Badey

    Badey Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Nice!
     
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  16. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Woah woah woah!! HOLD THE PHONE...

    You mean to tell me you've been shaming us every other day with some awesome piece of primitive gear, you go silent for a little while and pop up in ALASKA? USING A SPINCAST? AND BLUE TARPS??

    Does anybody else see how he's sleeping? That's in tents. :D

    Get some. Good update, now show us more. Dance monkey!
     
  17. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    @Haggis a bucket list fish for sure! There were 1000s of them running up this small creek. Been fishing a few times since I been here, have yet to keep and eat one. Next one I will cook up stream side in your honor!

    @NWPrimate good to hear from you too man! I have access to a main house and several outbuildings on the property so food storage hasn't been something I have tackled as of yet.

    @CivilizationDropout haha! Trust me, if I wasn't working so much and had more time, I would be going about this in a much more primitive fashion! The sleeping situation is quite in tents lol.

    @Fiddlehead Stan is a member of the other forum I'm a member of. Talked to him I think twice before, real cool guy with quite the backstory as to how he got started living in the bush.

    I'm not living in a tent because of any hardship or bad situation, it's 100% by choice! I have a dry cabin I could stay in but I decided to go with the tent. I'll probably spend the summer tent living then get me a small cabin come fall.

    I'll post more pics tonight and update this thread and also try to give more detailed and individual responses. Great talking to you guys! Never realized how much I enjoyed chatting with everyone lol. Hopefully I'll have more time in the future to spend on the forum!
     
  18. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I am now "Watching This Thread" and look forward to more reports!
     
  19. billdawg

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    Very cool. I am interested in your gear list. Also ,would love to see how you have the bear skin used.
    Good on ya for doing this
     
  20. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Thanks! The bear is being used mainly as a sleeping mat. This morning I threw it over my shoulders and wrapped up in it, super warm and cozy! I also have a cougar hide rolled up as a pillow.

    This in tandem with a 0 degree sleeping bag leads to some good nights sleep!

    Forgot to mention temps are pretty reasonable, gets into the mid 30s low 40s typically. Had one night where it dropped to 22 degrees, coldest it's been since I got here.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  21. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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  22. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Totally living the dream :dblthumb:. I'll get some more detailed photos asap. By the time I get to my camp I'm usually too tired to do much else besides crawl into bed and sleep lol.

    Nothing in life is deserved, you gotta take what you want and make it happen!
     
  23. Denman

    Denman Scout

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    I wish.
     
  24. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Thanks for sharing! Look forward to seeing updates!
     
  25. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Hello BCUSA! I finally got around to taking some pics to add to this thread, enjoy!

    Here is what I sleep with on a nightly basis, pretty basic consisting of only a bear skin and a 0 degree sleeping bag. I have yet to feel the cold so I think the bear is doing its job!
    IMAG1040.jpg
    This was the first bear I ever killed. Took her while out hunting with my dad when I was 13ish. It's a large cinnamon color black bear taken near my stomping grounds in the Northern Rockies. Great memories to sleep on :dblthumb:.

    Better shot of the bear skin with some gear in the background.
    IMAG1044.jpg
    Notice the large divot where I sleep lol. Over the past month or so I have flattened out the tundra beneath me creating a good sized depression. I need to fill it in with moss before I damage the tent!

    Red squirrel tails for decoration! I have more than a few hanging from my ceiling.
    IMAG1039.jpg

    Skinning knifes given to me by some dear friends before I headed north. They are "knives of Alaska" brand, amazing set!
    IMAG1058.jpg

    An almost consecutive month of tent living (more like tent sleeping) on the taiga has taught me some valuable lessons and has been an awesome test of skills! I plan on finishing out the summer tent style before the cold forces me into a cabin for the winter. Will be updating this thread periodically (@CivilizationDropout I'm dancing like a monkey!) Thanks for reading!:dblthumb:
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  26. Grouse Hunter

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    All around awesome! Keep the updates coming.
     
  27. Hoof

    Hoof Former Genius Supporter

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    I'm hoping you find a cave to live in, you'd be right at home
     
  28. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Long way from sticks and stones brother! Looking good.

    When you back fill your divot, pile your moss so it heaps out of the hole as deep as the hole is, make sense? This way your compression will even it out with the rest of the surface.

    Keep those updates rolling!
     
  29. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for the update!

    :35:
     
  30. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    @CivilizationDropout great idea! I'll make sure to heap it in there to level things out.

    @Hoof dude I think you're onto something! A cave would be pretty sweet, albeit very cold this far north.
     
  31. Hoof

    Hoof Former Genius Supporter

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    Haha, you just need more hides to keep warm. Plus, all the skulls would make great decorations at the entrance
     
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  32. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    Just a suggestion, but rather than collecting moss to fill the divot, just move the tent a few feet. Collecting moss to fill in the divot has the potential of long term damage to the tundra. Nature repairs itself in slow motion here.

    A thought. You'll be in the tent for June & July and maybe part of August. Might take a lot of moss to keep filling in the divot?

    August the weather will start to cool off -- hunting seasons will be opening & it will be berry season.
    Looks like you have low bush cranberries all around you?:)

    August is also, historically, the rainy season. The tundra will soak up & hold water like a sponge...
     
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  33. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Man. Am I ever jealous. Great thread. Keep the photos coming.
     
  34. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    Shower ? Why would you need a shower . Don't you have to spread your human scent around to repel Bears .
     
  35. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    I probably will move the tent. Was going to use sod pieces that got tilled up during construction of a road so no damage there (that hasn't already been done) but it would just squish down again.

    I'm not sure if they're cranberries or not, I'm still learning the plants of this ecosystem so I'll have to do some more research. The ones I think you're talking about just now started to put out some nice white flowers. Can't wait for berry season!

    Appreciate the local knowledge/advice!

    Lol! Maybe you're onto something. I don't shower near enough by civilizations standards so maybe that is keeping the bears away!

    I do pee all around the perimeter of my camp to mark it as mine. Not sure if it helps or not (my unscientifically backed thought is that it does) but it's something I have always done.
     
  36. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    Works for me , I havnt seen a bear all year .
     
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  37. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Bears be all like "What's that SMELL!?!"

    [​IMG]
     
  38. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    This may be of interest?
    https://www.uaf.edu/files/ces/publications-db/catalog/hec/FNH-00110.pdf

    If you have a radio & haven't already checked it out, tune into 89.1 FM. I believe the station is owned by the Athabaskan Fiddlers. The Fairbanks, McGrath & Galena stations air at different times of the day.
    Native news, Athabaskan word or phrase of the day, etc.

    The Yukon 800 (boat race) is this weekend June 17-18...
     
  39. SevenEmbers

    SevenEmbers Tracker

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    Living the dream! Any issues with mosquitoes or other pests?
     
  40. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    @Bannertail thanks for that PDF! You were right, low bush crans everywhere! Can't wait to start picking some. Have yet to check out the radio station but I wrote it down for future reference.

    Yes, yes, and yes! Mosquitoes of all sizes come in literal swarms here, it's like nothing I have ever seen. I spend 90% of my time outdoors so it's a constant battle. I'm starting to get used to them now though and their bites barely itch anymore. My tent does an amazing job at keeping them out.

    I also get visited nightly by voles and mice. Every night I get woken up by the sound of something crawling under my tent, a good slap to the ground usually sends them running.

    Other visitors include a ptarmigan that tried to land on top of my tent, he couldn't grip the fabric and kept falling off, pretty funny really. Also have seen a couple fox coming to investigate my camp.
     
  41. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Do you have a PO Box yet?
     
  42. shotgunpapa

    shotgunpapa Scout

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    looks nice keep us updated, and have fun.
     
  43. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    Will you be getting a (non-resident) small game license this year?
     
  44. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Not yet, I'll soon be moving into a dry cabin and will have a more permanent mail situation. I'll send you a pm when I get a place!

    I plan on it for sure! I already picked up my fishing licence, I should have grabbed small game while I was there. Next trip I make into town I'll pick one up.

    I checked out that radio station, super cool! Really like how they promote the usage of native language :dblthumb:

    Sorry it took so long on the response!
     
  45. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    When are you hosting a meet up?
     
  46. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    We fly you buy? :D
     
  47. Hoof

    Hoof Former Genius Supporter

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    There's 20 to 25 of us ready to come visit, you might want to put a couple of moose in the freezer so we can eat well. And fill the fridge with beer :dblthumb:
     
  48. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    And more bacon...
     
  49. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    I would love to host a meet-up some day! The logistics of it all would be a little rough but doable.

    Depends, will they accept porcupine quills or squirrel tails as currency? ;)
     
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  50. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    My response time is worse!!!:)
    But the blueberries are doing nicely. Had a few last week to try them, then again this morning. Won't be long before they are ready.

    On 89.1 have you listened to any of the interviews with the old-timers/Elders?
    If you have access to TV, check out 9-4 FNX. FNX= First Nations Experience.

    Small game hunting -- looks to be another good grouse season. Seeing more hare this year too.

    Sometime when you get to town, drop into Alaska Feed on College Road (near the Fairgrounds) Go thru the door & immedietly to the right is a display of fur hats, etc. by Suz Custom Sewing. She is a friend who does excellent work. She uses a different angle on the ear flaps so they lay flatter against the head. You could talk to her & she will measure you & make a fur hat to your specs. For instance since I usually wear a ball cap under the fur hat, she modified the design to take this into account...

    I had posted some videos from the Alaska Trapper's Association awhile back, somewhere on this forum. Among them is a short video featuring Suz.

    Take care.
     

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