Day 4, Leg 1:
Slept like a fat baby last night. Did not even notice the rain quit – sun still is not shining though. Time to try some powdered eggs with bacon – will provide some variety at least. Coffee will be good as well, reminds me I need a percolator or French press for the shed. Hopefully sun will come out today, actually feels warmer this morning than yesterday afternoon.
By myself, I would probably hit the river today but I figure with family in tow, they would need a couple days longer to rest and get over the shock. I might need time myself. Pause is always good if you can afford it – gives you the opportunity to reevaluate things and digest them.
River appears to have fallen and sun is trying to peek through clouds. Set up clothesline and hung gear around where it can catch sun and breeze. Washing clothes in muddy river on a cut off 2×6 I found – dang water temp is still freezing! Thought about bathing in river earlier but that just ain’t happening, will boil some more water this evening. Washed both sets of clothes and hung them up to dry – need to pack some shorts for wash detail. Cold water will not have them spotless but at least they are not funky anymore.
Waiting on clothes to dry, refining the list of additional supplies I plan to load in the canoe. I have replenished BOB with expendables I consumed Day 1 – 3 or have them piled up ready to go back in. Considering extra MREs instead of some of the freeze dried stuff I have in the shed. Will definitely combat boredom with freeze dried but MREs are easier to prepare. Probably will go with MREs, Datrex, rice, beans, and a couple packs of instant oatmeal. Definitely packing extra instant coffee. Will include Dorcy Lantern and spare batteries for it, some extra chem lights (red, green, and white – in case I travel the river at night), and some additional AA batteries for flashlights. Additional tools: rod & reel, frog gig, paddles, and anchor with anchor line. Canvas tarp, some gear netting, and additional dry bags (pack flotation devices in as well in case of overturn). Will finalize and pack canoe evening Day 5 or morning Day 6.
Lunch already? Eggs were not bad, so might as well use the can up or it will spoil. Been relying heavily on my LifeStraw Bottle. Just noticed but probably not the smartest play since the filter has a limited life and it is fairly easy to boil / treat water in a base camp situation. Will collect, boil, and treat water after lunch. Eating lunch, thinking about all the things that would be going on in a true Bugout scenario – security, unity of effort / work (everyone has a job), gathering intel, scouting more, sleeping in shifts, sleep deprivation, adrenaline rushes, constant worry, etc. So far I have not been concerned with any of that and honestly I do not know if there is a way to truly simulate it in this setting. Worst thing so far was one wet/cold night, starting to miss my family (especially voice comms), and some lightning. Will make point to focus more on “real Bugout” issues.
Check clothes, drying nicely. Fleece is getting warm in sun. Check set hooks, bait gone, no fish – crappy bait anyway (bubble gum on one and canned wiener on other), will make point to find better bait. Check snares – nothing and nothing went through area (no fresh tracks). Will fish with lure and rod & reel this evening. Gathered, strained, water for boiling. Probably last of my fuel so fire to cook tonight and tomorrow morning.
Gathering firewood, most dead wood on ground still soaked. Knocked several dead pine limbs off trees that seem to be drier. Cut some brush back and gathered some broom sage. Not looking to make big fire but would be nice to have some seasoned, split firewood. Should not be too hard to build stockpile as I continue to improve location. Need to consider fire ring and tripod as well. Only issue is money and time spent here will take away from preps somewhere else. Have to consider this as lower priority and bare essentials at this point – doesn’t hurt to dream.
Clothes and gear dried nicely. Changing out of fleece is nice. Ruck could use a little more time in sun. Repacked everything in compression sacks, will repack BOB tonight. Outdoor Research and Sea to Summit Air Purge compression sacks have worked well and kept things dry so far.
No luck fishing. Water moving too fast, too muddy, and cool snap. Freeze dried dinner then bed.
Day 5, Leg 1:
Up before daylight again. Still getting more sleep than I would in true Bugout. Find myself wondering if I would really be relying so much on stored meals or trying harder to gather food in order to conserve them. Guess I could starve myself in order to motivate but that kind of defeats purpose of trip. Won’t be much going on today, enjoying the peace and quiet but missing family.
Prepare water, hygiene, coffee… More coffee but instant is getting old.
Check snares, nothing. Check set hooks, nothing – bait gone again. Went ahead and pulled set hooks to dry before repacking.
Studying options on water. Have canoe and v-hull Jon boat available. Initial plan was canoe. Real plan was me in canoe, family in Jon boat – stability, capacity, etc. With river level now, smarter play may be Jon boat for this test. At least I can sleep in Jon boat without worry of tipping over – well as much worry.
Not a lot going on today. Killing time making lists, updating Bugout log for site, revisiting Days 1-4 in my mind, fighting urge to just hit the river….
Decided on Jon boat option. Moved down to water’s edge for packing. Besides BOB and harness I started with, packed paddles x2, PFD, throw cushions (tied to gear), case of MREs, extra chem lights, frog gig, Dorcy Lantern, anchor & anchor line, spare batteries, tarps, gear nets, rod & reel, and shovel. Everything between seats, except where I plan to sit. Slide into water to check balance, re-position gear accordingly and ensure everything is lashed down well and covered with tarps. Extra dummy cord on weapons will be necessary and will secure electronics in zip loc and dry bag for redundancy.
Boil and treat water for drinking. Dinner and bed. Got pretty bored but doubt that would be issue in true BO. Will hit river tomorrow around lunch, hoping it continues to drop and does not rain as much for remainder of trip.
Day 6, Leg 2:
Looking forward to hitting river. Becoming morning routine, finished off eggs and bacon, two cups coffee, enjoying sunrise. Personal hygiene, top off canteens,…
Finish loading Jon boat and double check security of gear. Make certain things I need immediately are easily accessible. Weigh options on wearing harness or not. Real chance could turn into real survival situation and I could get separated from boat, so will wear it at all times.
Check around shed, gather up all trash and place in Steve’s garbage cart by the road. Don’t imagine garbage service will be available post SHTF – would bury or burn in that case. Make certain fire is out, wet and cover with dirt. Secure shed, think I will miss cot tonight. Won’t see cot or bed for another 7 – 8 days.
Hit the river.
Current was very strong, did not have to paddle much other than to steer. Made better time than expected. Primary campsite (was going to be sand bar before bridge & boat landing) covered with water – not even visible. Proceeded to bridge & boat landing for night. Tried trolling beetle spin but lost it when it got hung. Ate some Datrex while traveling MRE for dinner.
No one else at landing but area is accessible by vehicle so security real issue. Did not consume much water, so will treat canteen chemically. Concern in true BO being close to bridge and access. Briefly look around for potential cache sites, mark two, turn in for night.