Brooks Range Extreme Bushcrafting

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Mark Knapp, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    I'm starting another extreme bushcrafting trek in the Brooks Range starting Saturday July 14. My last one was cut short due to threatening winter storms and the late spring in the arctic.

    Like the last time, you can follow along, if you like, at my blog web site

    https://www.markknappalaskaadventures.com/

    I will be trying to simulate a real survival situation, living off the land, no tent, no sleeping bag, no cook gear. I'll have a complete gear list posted on my site. I'm doing this for many reasons. Of primary importance is to get/stay in better physical shape, test my gear, expand my knowledge, hone my skills and teach a little of what I know.

    Also, I hope to help expand the known ranges of some of our fish species in Alaska. It's not known what fish inhabit most of the lakes in the arctic. It's my wish to help the Alaska Department fisheries fill in some of the gaps (I've done a little of that in the past). I may also be able to identify some archeological sites.

    On my last trip I used a hardware store tarp and space blankets for my shelter. On this trip I'll be using BCUSA 10 x 10 tarp exclusively. It was graciously sent to me by our friend Jason for testing and evaluation on my trips. On my previous trip I had problems with the grommets pulling out of the hardware store tarp. It's easy to see that the BCUSA tarp is not going to have the same problem.

    On this trip I'll be walking the Sagavanirktok (Sag) river from it's head to the pipeline haul road, a distance of 100 to 120 miles. It will take two to three weeks. The Sag was to be the final leg of my earlier trek.

    Follow along if you like. I'll be making daily journal reports via IN-Reach along the way and have plenty of video to share when I get back.

    Wish me luck, thanks Mark


     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Good luck!
     
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  3. deleplank

    deleplank Tracker

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    Good luck sir, I wish I could do the same.
     
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  4. T MAC

    T MAC In Memoriam Bushcraft Friend

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    Wishing you the best!
     
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  5. buckfynn

    buckfynn Old Geezer Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Good luck and have fun.
     
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  6. Swamp Pirate

    Swamp Pirate Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Best of luck to You! Have Fun, and Stay Safe!
     
  7. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    Good luck!
     
  8. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Hopefully you have better luck this time. Looking forward to the trip report.
     
  9. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Good luck and be safe!
     
  10. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker Supporter

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    Sounds like a great learning experience. Stay safe and have fun!
     
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  11. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Lifetime Supporter Supporter

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    lovin it... I assume you will have your 1911 knife with you
     
  12. LazyPK

    LazyPK Supporter Supporter

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    Don’t die but have fun
     
  13. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Yes, the Bowie and the Ulu. Thanks.
     
  14. oathkeeper762

    oathkeeper762 Bushbum & PT Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Good luck, we are all ready to vicariously take the journey with you via your blog!
     
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  15. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Thanks everybody, I appreciate it. On this trip I have several things going for me that that I didn't on the last attempt. It's spring up there so there are the edible plants. I will be heading down river from the second day on so if there aren't any fish in the upper river I just head down till I find them. I know this area better than the Kongakut, I've spent quite a bit of time on the Sag before both floating and guiding. But most of all, I don't have any major rivers to cross so even if it rains and snows a lot, I won't have to worry about the crossings.

    Thanks again.
     
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  16. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    Fare well.
     
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  17. Snakeshooter

    Snakeshooter Supporter Supporter

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    Good luck and safe travel!
     
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  18. mtnoutdoors

    mtnoutdoors Prov 27:17 Supporter

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    :dblthumb: :35: Good luck. Prov 27:17
     
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  19. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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    My friend spent this last winter up there as a guide. Be safe!

    I hope to see some pictures! All I saw in his photos was a lot of white!
     
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  20. BushcrafterAU

    BushcrafterAU Master Tracker Supporter

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    Wow!!!!!
    By the way, I had a look at your custom knives... they’re awesome! I especially like your Skinner and Drop Point Hunter! You must be very skilled.
     
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  21. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    I can't wait to see all those photos. Best of luck Sir!
     
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  22. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Guide

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    Luck and safety go with you!
     
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  23. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    @Mark Knapp ,

    Good for you Mark! I will pretend that I am and could be following you. Should be a grand trip. Be safe! Have FUN! :)
     
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  24. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
     
  25. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Thanks bud.
     
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  26. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Thanks everybody. There is some video on my web site of my last trip, (The very short one), in case you would like to get a glimpse of how it might be on this trip.
     
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  27. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Best of luck, I'll be peeking in!
     
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  28. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

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    I'll be following along again and hope that things go more smoothly. Good luck!
     
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  29. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Guide

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    Wow. Good luck.

    Personally I cannot function without an water bottle and some type of pot. I'm constantly wanting water to drink and I'd be up the creek without an bottle of sorts.

    Hope you find some kind of past human presence. Maybe an ancient tomb or temple, that would be awesome. And yeah, I'm an Indiana jones geek

    Good luck
     
  30. Sharpthings

    Sharpthings Scout

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    Sounds fun! Take care!
     
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  31. azmike9

    azmike9 Supporter Supporter

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    Best of luck to you
     
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  32. Bryan King

    Bryan King Supporter Supporter

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    Good luck and stay safe
     
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  33. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    I am sad to report that my second attempt at a solo, living-off-the-land trek in the Brooks Range this year was also thwarted by severe weather.

    After getting my take out vehicle staged at the right spot, while we were headed to my drop off point, 70 road miles higher in the mountains, the fog rolled in and filled the valley right down to the deck. It's not possible to navigate in the mountains with such bad visibility so we returned to our base camp to wait it out. Soon after the fog came in it started to rain, then changed to snow. A day and a half later the snow stopped and the fog rose.

    When we returned to my drop off location at the 3000 foot elevation the mountains were blanketed with three inches of new snow and ice from freezing rain. My trek involved crossing the mountains through a pass at 6000 feet. Given what we had at 3000 feet I could only imagine what was waiting for me at six thousand. With possibly up to a foot of new snow and ice covering shale slides and boulder fields it would have been foolish to attempt it.

    My support crew had obligations to attend to in Fairbanks like jobs and family to pick up at the airport so we didn't have time to wait for the snow to melt. Once again I had to call it off.

    I was able to get some really good video of grizzly bears, musk ox, caribou and a red fox hunting mice as well as me catching my biggest lake trout ever on a fly. You can check these videos out as well as others of the weather conditions in the mountains on my blog if you like.

    My time and budget have been stretched to their limits for this summer, so I'll have to wait to try again. Maybe one of these times I will catch a break.

    Thanks for all the support, Mark
     
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  34. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sorry to hear that. Sounds like the right decision to abort given the weather scenario.
     
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  35. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Here's a lake trout I caught on this trip

    [​IMG]
     
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  36. Carabnr

    Carabnr Guide

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    Never seen the likes of a lake trout like that. Sorry things didn't pan out this year, but it sounds like a wise decision.

    Cheers
     
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  37. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    Wise move to abort. It’s not going anywhere.
    That fish had to be fun on a fly rod!!
    Stay well!!
     
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  38. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Nice laker! Too bad you didn't catch it while on your walk...that could have lasted a you a few days once smoked!
     
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  39. feellnfroggy

    feellnfroggy Guide

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    Use the toggle trick instead of tying to the tarp, itll make a huge difference
     
  40. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    I didn't know quite how good my decision was until I got reports, and saw pictures of up to 18 inches more snow since I left.
     
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  41. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Yeah, it was caught in a catch and release lake on the road system the day before I was to leave for the trek. Yes, it would have been so sa-weet on the trail.
     
  42. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Thanks everybody
     
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  43. ManyHammers

    ManyHammers Supporter Supporter Banned

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    We are looking at an early and hard winter. I can feel it ,I feel compelled to stack wood and stack meat this year more than ever ,I fear a real Solar Minimum is upon us.
     
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  44. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    Sorry to hear the news, but always follow your gut instinct. Better safe than sorry has probably saved me more than a few times. When I ignored it, I paid dearly. Nope sounds like you did the right thing, but ya still got some cool time in a part of the world I probably will never see in person. Take care..
     
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