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Planning My Spring Adventure - float, fish and live off the land
Old 01-24-2014, 10:54 AM   #1
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Planning My Spring Adventure - float, fish and live off the land

Cold weather sucks, but it is a good time to plan my "Big Adventure".

This year it will be a 4 day, 3 night river boat cruise.
Oh, the boat is a canoe, the room is a tent, and meals are whatever you hunt, fish or gather.

This inaugural event will take place on the scenic rivers in the Ozarks of Southwest Missouri. (No, it is nowhere near where Deliverance was filmed!)

I will take enough to be safe and prepared but the goal is to really keep it as simple and primitive as possible.

Has anyone tried something similar? Great memories or great regrets?
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:26 AM   #2
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The closest I have come to this is a few overnights (two days floating, one to three days camping) where I packed all or almost all of my food. Most of these were done in the Current River State Park and Mark Twain National Forest areas of Missouri; but, a few have been farther west.

Never any regrets after the fact, even after a non-trivial injury and countless soakings along the way. Unfortunately, I have not made the time to do this sort of thing for too many years.

Also, for any other readers, the areas we are discussing are so definitely Deliverance country in many ways even if it was not actually where the film was made. The scenery and solitude (at least during the week and/or off-season) are amazing. There are a few bad eggs (some really bad) out there; but, I am convinced you can find that anywhere.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:51 AM   #3
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My canoe trips usually involve enough beer so that the gunwales are about 2" above water level. But it get's lighter fast...
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:05 PM   #4
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My canoe trips usually involve enough beer so that the gunwales are about 2" above water level. But it get's lighter fast...
Hmmm, hunting, fishing, and gathering.....does it count if I "gather" beers from a passing campsite?
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:27 PM   #5
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I used to do that kind of thing when I was younger and lived in southeast Georgia. Wonderful times! Since I just retired at the beginning of the year, I am planning on getting my two boats ready for the spring and summer. I want to run crawfish traps and hoop nets on the river, here. Yes, I hunt and am a forager by nature.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:40 PM   #6
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Not a trip for me. With my hunting and fishing skills I'd almost certainly starve.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:04 PM   #7
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Floated the Current and one other. Day trips only with a group. Sounds like fun.

Do be careful, on the Current we had a couple in a canoe flip on a rock. He was up right away, she came up 50 yards downstream. Shook up but ok, tame river, good day, it happened so fast.

Are you planning/timing for a Morel snack?

MRG
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:32 PM   #8
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Cold weather sucks, but it is a good time to plan my "Big Adventure".

This year it will be a 4 day, 3 night river boat cruise.
Oh, the boat is a canoe, the room is a tent, and meals are whatever you hunt, fish or gather.

This inaugural event will take place on the scenic rivers in the Ozarks of Southwest Missouri. (No, it is nowhere near where Deliverance was filmed!)

I will take enough to be safe and prepared but the goal is to really keep it as simple and primitive as possible.

Has anyone tried something similar? Great memories or great regrets?
Sounds like fun! Although, as others have pointed out, I definitely would bring enough simple rations to eat modestly (peanut butter, tuna fish packets), rather than solely (or even majority) depend on fishing/hunting. Makes it more enjoyable if you try your hand with the fishing pole and come back empty after 4 hours, rather than sitting there for 8 hours, stomach grumbling, and a bad attitude guaranteed for the next 48 hours with food as your sole focus, rather than enjoying the great outdoors.

My experience has been a few trips - some day floats and an overnight with about 25 other people on the Meramec, Current and Courtois, and 3 times in the MR 340 river race on the Missouri. Spending time on the river is great - as long as you give yourself the opportunity to enjoy it.

I've ordered some food from
TheEpicenter.com - Emergency Preparedness - Survival Food and Supplies

before for the MR340, and found the food to be actually quite good...assuming you're willing to recognize that it's all pre-cooked and comes in a pouch. Of course you wouldn't be willing to pay $15/plate for it in a nice restaurant, but for something with a shelf life in a waterproof pouch that you can take anywhere and eat whenever, it's damn good! And they're all incredibly light and easy to pack away.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:48 PM   #9
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Floated the Current and one other. Day trips only with a group. Sounds like fun.

Do be careful, on the Current we had a couple in a canoe flip on a rock. He was up right away, she came up 50 yards downstream. Shook up but ok, tame river, good day, it happened so fast.

Are you planning/timing for a Morel snack?

MRG
It will be morel season! Have to be careful though since most surrounding land is private and I wouldn't want to trespass. I will pass several public places that may be worth a look although I would have to be lucky since they are hunted hard.
I was wondering where to camp but have noticed a lot of neat islands and sandbars right in the middle of the James. They should do. Realistically, there will be no real hunting opportunities but the fishing, frogging, and gathering should be good. Might try to find a crawdad trap by then to. Half the fun is talking, planning and prepping for it.
Thanks for all the thought.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:35 AM   #10
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When I was a young guy, I could stay out in the woods for a couple of days with just some salt and pepper. Squirrels and Bobwhite quail were all fair game. Most of the time I only had a dozen .22lr shells with me, I could buy them one shell at a time. So although not sporting, shooting quail on the ground was a must do.

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Old 01-25-2014, 09:42 AM   #11
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Floated the Current and one other. Day trips only with a group. Sounds like fun.

Do be careful, on the Current we had a couple in a canoe flip on a rock. He was up right away, she came up 50 yards downstream. Shook up but ok, tame river, good day, it happened so fast.

MRG

One thing I recommend is not canoeing backwards while passing a cigarette full of likely illegal substance between canoes, on a river at flood stage, running 6 mph.

Just sayin'...
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:12 AM   #12
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Sounds like you are in for a bit of an adventure. Enjoy it!
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:35 PM   #13
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Colorado River...put in just below hoover dam.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:39 PM   #14
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The ideal boat is 35 feet long at the waterline, with a 34 foot cooler below.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:50 PM   #15
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I'd go just for the morels. Morels sauteed in butter on toast = heaven.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:43 PM   #16
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I do that sort of thing at least every couple of years. Favorite places are the north woods of Maine, the upper peninsula of Michigan, and western Colorado.

I bring enough chow (usually Mountain House or a similar brand of dehydrated packed meals) to avoid starvation.

Getting away from civilization for a while is an incredibly refreshing experience, and I have always enjoyed the opportunity to recharge my psychic batteries that way.

But I once had an unbelievably abrupt transition back to the real world. I had been on one of my solo trips up in northern Maine, and had totally de-stressed myself to the point of feeling completely relaxed.

I got back to where I had left my car, and started driving back home from Maine to Ohio. While enroute, my cell phone suddenly rang, completely shocking me because it had been over a week since I talked to another human being.

It was my wife at home, telling me to turn on the car radio. It was about 10:00 am on 9/11/2001.

I made it the rest of the way home kind of numb.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:24 PM   #17
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What a shocking transition that must have been. Interesting how we are all so tied together as a society and yet can, for a while at least, still find some level of solitude and separation out in nature. I suspect it is healthy to strike some balance of both.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:09 PM   #18
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I have a camper at my hunt club. Sometimes I stay in it for a few days and spend the days hunting and nights by the fire, till it's time to go to bed. On the way home after being out there for awhile, I go through a sort of decompression and the outside world turns on again. I feel like I had been a million miles away or in Africa and it takes some time to readjust to the other world. I say "other", because what's real?
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:33 PM   #19
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I'd go just for the morels. Morels sauteed in butter on toast = heaven.

Me too. It was a big deal in our family to go morel hunting every May on my parents cabin property in Michigan. I am still trying to figure out where to find them here in Oregon. So far the only place I've found them is the farmers market...
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