Tag Archives: arizona

Daniel Boone Challenge

 

So in an earlier blog I discussed the Crocket Challenge. I go on a yearly solo training where I push myself for a few days. This year I will do two weeks alone running up to seven scenarios. I will start with no-gear and low gear content and then move to additional phases. Scenario #2 will be the Crocket. Following a recovery day, I will go into the Boone phase while on my survival solo in Utah and Arizona.

I created this scenario in 1990-94 while teaching survival to Air Force buddies in West Texas who had some field time under their belts but had not ben pushed too hard. The Daniel Boone challenge is designed to test the total skills package. In this 3-day semi-supported scenario designed to challenge your skills, the participant stays a minimum of 60 hours. Building on the psychology of staying overnight with minimal supplies of the Crockett, in this activity I designed it to push the surviveor’s own limits and increase confidence and capability to survive in a scenario.

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The last time I did one of these I was pretty wiped out. I had zero luck on procuring food, it was cold and rainy most of the time, and I developed a bad cough. On the morning of day three, Trigger’s rations were looking pretty good.

Once in the opperational area, I will establish a new Comfort Zone (see my Zone Survival Concept) and live for three days and two nights. Part of the scenario is to set up two non-baited deadfall traps to show capability. Food procurement is simulated in the consuption kit. I usually pack a small handful of jerkey to represent the meat you would get from a ground squirrel. Its not allot—trust me. About 1 ounce.

Time: This exercise is designed for a period of 60-72 hours and equipment is limited to:

Cover: 2 wool blankets or one bedroll, waterproof tarp or space blanket. Clothing as required for environment. (no down jackets)

Cutting: Knife and saw

Combustion: Flint/Steel or Friction Fire. (Emergency fire kit zip-tied and in bottom of pack)

Container: Water bottle and metal boiling container.

Care Kit: Include small first-aid kit, water purification

Cordage: No more than 100’

All items must fit into in a small container no larger than 2500 cubic inches (small pack) or rolled into bed roll. My Frost River Summit Boulder Jct comes in at 2300 and change.

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Consumption: Food for three days- but must fit inside the pack or bed roll. (Not allot for three days). Survival fishing kit may be carried (have a license too). If you have a license and within legal parameters, you may supplement with wild game.

If water is not safe or readily available at usual site then an extra five gallons are permitted to be cached- but must treat it as if it were dirty and use purification methods. (1 gallon may be carried by hand and water will be cached for my pup only).

At least one tool must be made during this challenge as well as a para-bracelet. I like collecting the tools I have made on my trips and the para-cord bracelets hold a sentimental value for me.

Safety Items/ Bail-out Bag – you need to have one in case stuff does go wrong. This can be cached on the way in to the sit spot/ Comfort Zone. Mark it so you can find it in emergency.

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If you decide to do one of these–you are responsible for your own safety.

 

To “Go and See”

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Sometimes “go and see” became a much bigger adventure. A trip to check out the spill way of a dam became an instant playground for Abby and the pups

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An awesome “go and see” with our good buddy Carl, took us to some awesome mining areas in Idaho

I blame it on DNA in my family. Old family homesteads, final resting spots of famous explorers, a house somebody was born in, and other countless road side stops and detours. As a kid I remember traversing landscape in the middle seat of a 1969 Ford F-100 to see the stomping grounds of Zane Grey and keeping myself entertained as we hit other unique wonders in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California. In other years and other trips, the year and brands of transportation stayed the same, but always on four wheels. 1964 Comet, 1973 Chevelle, and 1979 Ford Bronco. Friday night often ended with the words, “in the morn’n, we’ll go ‘n see”… Could be where a sawmill used to be…or any other countless small tidbits of history.

This traversing to historic signs and ghost towns wasn’t limited to just my parents, it was passed down biologically from both sets of grandparents. I have postcards from the largest bowl of pea soup and a key chain from something called the “Muffler Man Museum” to prove this long lineage of exotic exploration.

Throughout my adult life I have found that I as well love exploring the unique. On my recent trip to Washington for the Overland Rally, I found I would stop or even re-route to visit some out of the way…way out of the way historical site.

My poor family has endured all-day long trips to visit the three remaining logs of where some poor soul breathed his last breath. We have seen Cadillacs buried in the ground, birth places of unknown individuals, and monuments made of copper pipe to some great thing in a historical microcosm we never even knew about. I have literally looked at a map and decided to drive hours of dirt because some unknown to us at the time person has a monument.

Speaking as an American, we love the road. It’s in our DNA to explore and seek new places. I point to evidence of our own westward expansion. Following our curiosity of the unknown. We were dumped here in small colonies to fend for ourselves and the hearty, the mobile, the curios have survived and spawned its children of the west.

I love this part of who I am and grateful that both my parents and grandparents provided this genetic trait for me, and nurtured it through all the crowded and cramped road trips we took when I was a kid. I still love the odd detours, the driving an extra 80 miles to see where my family once used as hunting grounds, or a bridge that was built by immigrant labor. I am fascinated by these parts of our history. I live in one of the most target rich areas for “go and see”. Old mines, dredges, plane crash sites, shoot-outs, and rocks with the paintings of ancient and pre-modern people abound. Much of my modern-day adventure is based only on the “go and see” desires I can’t control.

The weekend is coming soon and whether it is with family on board, or if it’s just me and my pup in the Jeep, I will drive out-of-the-way to find something new.

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Aborting a weekend aviation trip to Oregon became a “go and see” in style…we rented the fastest thing in the lot and thankful they never checked the rear tires when we brought it back.

From Don’t Tread On Me… to Tread Lightly

 
Very Cool– we have just become an OFFICIAL PARTNER of  Tread Lightly!
 
These are principles I grew up on before leaving only foot (or tire) prints was the cool thing– and my family was much more involved in preserving the outdoors long before granola types and tree fornicators came along. My Grandpa Turner was a huge protector of the environment and would throttle anyone who threw down a candy wrapper or beer bottle. He also used the woods for camping, fishing, and hunting. He hiked trails, chased game, and drove his pick-up…and he fought to protect the woods and deserts of Arizona from both types of extremist…goons and granolas.
 
So it is with pride we not only announce our new status as a PARTNER with Tread Lighly- but publish in our blog the official ethics of the outdoors here…
 

TIPS TO MINIMIZE A JEEP’S IMPACT

  • Stay on routes designated for four wheeling. 
  • Cross streams only at designated fording points, or where the road crosses the stream.
  • Cross large rocks and other obstacles slowly, at an angle, one wheel at a time.
  • Avoid muddy trails.  Leave them for another day when they’re dry.  If you do come across mud on the trail, go easy on the gas to avoid wheel spin, which can cause rutting.  Don’t leave the trail to avoid muddy spots, this can widen the trail and damage trailside plant-life.
  • Straddle ruts, gullies and washouts even if they are wider than your vehicle.
  • Don’t turn around on narrow roads, steep terrain, or unstable ground. Backup until you find a safe place to turn around.
  • Travel straight up or down hills. Don’t traverse the face of a hill; you may slip sideways or roll your vehicle.
  • Stop frequently and reconnoiter ahead on foot.
  • Ride in the middle of trails to minimize widening them. Avoid side-slipping and wheel spin, which can lead to erosion.
  • To help with traction, balance your load and lower tire pressure to where you see a bulge (typically not less the than 20 pounds).
  • Know where the differential or lowest point on the vehicle is.
  • Choose the appropriate winch for your vehicle size.
  • Attach towing cable, tree strap or chain as low as possible to the object being winched. Let the winch do the work; never drive the winch.
  • Protect the soundscape by avoiding unnecessary noise created by your vehicle. 
  • Leave gates as you find them. Respect private land.
  • Yield the right-of-way to those passing you or traveling uphill. Yield to mountain bikers, hikers, and horses.
  • Avoid “spooking” livestock and wildlife.
  • Always avoid sensitive habitats: wetlands, meadows, and tundra.
  • Following a ride, wash your vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species.
  • Motorized and mechanized vehicles are not allowed in areas designated “Wilderness.”
  • Pack out what you pack in.  Carry a trash bag in your vehicle and pick up litter left by others.

 WHEN CAMPING

  • Whenever possible, use existing campsites. Camp on durable surfaces and place tents on a non-vegetated area. Do not dig trenches around tents.
  • Camp a least 200 feet from water, trails and other campsites.
  • Minimize use of fire.  For cooking, try using a camp stove.

Soon you will find more tips and tricks to reducing impact and keeping access for all of us. There is also more tips are available at http://www.treadlightly.org

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Contact the land manager for area restrictions, closures, and permit requirements. If you cross private property, be sure to ask permission from the landowner(s).
  • Get a map.
  • Make a realistic plan and stick to it.  Always tell someone where you are going and your expected return time.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Make sure your vehicle is mechanically up to task. Be prepared with tools, supplies and spares for trailside repairs.
  • Travel with a group of two or more vehicles, as riding solo can leave you vulnerable if you have an accident or breakdown. Designate meeting areas in case of separation.