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Glacier National Park personnel repeatedly stated that during the winter the high mountain cirque, Hole in the Wall was inaccessible. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
One of the main issues I am grappling with on the Continental Divide route, one that is only going to be behind me when I travel through the area, is the steep avalanche slopes in Henrys Lake Mountains (HLM), near West Yellowstone, Montana and Island Park, Idaho.
Traveling with a load of 90 and more pounds is no longer a viable alternative for this aging traveler.
Getting my load weight down is part of the key to a successful undertaking of HLM in February.
I love the challenge, to use what God has given me, the practiced brain, fit body, the incredible equipment, and afterwards should I fail, not blame God or anyone else. It is Saturday morning January 24, 2015; the reality of what has happened is beginning to sink in. On April 29, 2008, after 1.5 months I completed approximately 150 miles of travel in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.
A little more than 3 ? months later, I began the first winter trip on the eastern side of Glacier National Park. In May 2013, with my second written manuscript now in the hands of a publisher, I broached the subject of the Continental Divide winter trip to my wife. So it is that after eight days on the route, and now with one week remaining in January 2015, and nearly 7 years after I began the preliminary plans, I have canceled the trip.
In addition, 50 miles into the Continental Divide trip beginning in January 2015, I will encounter my first slopes that require technical climbing gear to ascend and descend. Yesterday, I drove north for my first winter training trip, which I intended to undertake in the Dearborn River Canyon of the Scapegoat Wilderness.
To be clear, during the 90-day trip, which begins in approximately 30 days, with the exception of rain falling on the snowpack, it makes no difference what the weather conditions are. With that said, you know I sort of feel like I’m playing poker with the totally emotionless old man winter. After a November snowstorm in Helena Montana, from the Prairie Trail a wintry scene of the cliffs of Mount Helena City Park.
November 1, 2014 marked the beginning of my third and final phase of training for the Continental Divide winter trip.
Although the announced plan is to begin the Continental Divide winter trip on February 1, 2015, I have to be ready to go by January 1. On Monday, November 17, I will begin my first winter training trip 75 miles north of Helena with three nights in the Scapegoat Wilderness’s Dearborn River Canyon. This trip will also mark the first time I have been in the beautiful Dearborn Canyon since January 2002. After the Dearborn trip, I will attempt to do two more training trips, likely in December before beginning the main trip.
Finally, yesterday the physical therapist made clear that where my back is concerned, the pain free days of travel with a load are behind me. I have begun to progress strongly with the strength and endurance training for the continuation of next winter’s trip on the Continental Divide.
With that in mind, for today and tomorrow, I have two larger sized carpet-cleaning jobs to complete.
I note that until the winter of 2008, which was when I completed a 150-mile double crossing of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, I exercised two hours every day, that included an additional 10 to 12 minutes of resistance training. In addition this summer, I must hike 254 miles of traveling along sections of the Continental Divide in Montana and Idaho. Through the years, I have found that regardless of the doubts and feelings of hopelessness, which is the state of my present condition, I must continue exercising, work through the pain, and attain that higher level of physical fitness. There are links within this post on which we can earn a commission if you purchase something, but it doesn't cost you any more money. Have you ever wondered why military and ex-military members are so comfortable as preppers and survivalists? In order to best be prepared and train yourself for a SHTF situation, you need to learn the Survival Rule of Three. That gallon is supposed to be for drinking and sanitation, so your best bet in my opinion is to store 2 gallons per person per day.
If you are in an emergency situation and there is no running water, what happens when your stored water runs out?
As a prepper, you should think of all possible situations for each emergency and plan ahead.
Patrick BlairPatrick is a Christ follower, the father of a special needs daughter with a brilliant personality and two musically talented sons, the husband of a beautiful and incredibly wonderful woman, an avid cook and gardener, a craftsman, and a hopeful homesteader with a passion for researching.
The world we live in is a very negative place and prepping for an uncertain future can compound your feelings of negativity. Remember when preparing, don’t prepare for one specific event, like Y2K, 2012 or economic collapse. Trying to keep things in perspective in this crazy world where we seem to be battling endless threats to our everyday life and security seems like an almost impossible task. Tagged  Positive Prepping, Preparedness, Prepping, Survival, TEOTWAWKI, The Positive Prepper.
This ultra-portable Mini Solar Cooking Tube can quickly reach cooking temperature in just 5-10 minutes, using nothing but the sun. A group of soldiers braved the wilds of the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains where they put in practice some of the skills learnt on a recent survival course.
As the country struggles in the depths of a recession, financial survival is on most people’s minds.
At the end of the exercise 25 two-star privates (including one female) sat along an earth bank, sleepy-eyed, as the survival instructors of the Military Training and Survival School (MTSS) conducted a debrief of this short, sharp, but effective, introduction to survival training.
The most important thing on the survival exercise for me was always to put down a mat to sleep on, bring a knife; and a hat and gloves for the cold at night. On the previous day, operating in teams of five, the would-be survivalists headed into the Cloghleagh Woods on a hill overlooking the river Liffey in the Dublin Mountains, close to Kilbride Camp. Survival training has always featured as a part of training but in the last couple of years that the Defence Forces has placed a greater emphasis on its development and instruction. Cpl Mark Hammond, one of instructors who stayed overnight with the troops, told me that this type of course was ‘just another day in the office', for him. Cpl Hammond says that their introduction to survival skills usually involves a day of lectures and practical demonstrations, followed by a 24-hour exercise on the ground. For me the most important thing during the survival course was to collect lots and lots of firewood. The following day on checking on Team Two, they were all up and standing in front of a fire that was blazing with the remains of one of their shelters that they had added for extra fuel. After breaking camp and cleaning up their respective sites the troops headed back to Gormanston Camp, scoffing a breakfast roll in the back of the truck, armed with new knowledge and skills and a better understanding on how to survive.
One might expect that the Bitterroot Range, due to its much larger size of hundreds rather than 20 miles, would be far more vicious, which it would but for the powder prone snow of February when I will be in HLM.
However, if I remove too much food, fuel, or equipment, more than jeopardizing the trip with another failure, the question of survivability might arise.
The challenge is to get it right before the trip begins, or close enough where I will only need to make small adjustments on the route to be successful.
Almost 81 hours ago, I arrived back in Helena, Montana with the Continental Divide trip almost surely canceled. Within days, I began to wonder what was next while realizing the trip had demonstrated that my days of winter expedition trips were numbered.


In another year, I had my freshly completed first manuscript and a realization that I needed to take action where the Continental Divide trip was concerned. The date was February 2, 2011, and a La Nina weather phenomenon was strangling the high country of Glacier, with huge snowstorms lining up behind each other.
We have gone from moderate snowfall (between 6 inches and 3 feet, depending on the elevation) and subzero temperatures, to an extended forecast with a mixed bag of scattered rain and snow, including temperatures up to 40°F. Besides the peril of possible avalanches, proper placement of snow pickets in powder to anchor my rope would be difficult if not impossible. If there is enough snowpack coupled with a crust on the surface after the New Year begins, that is when the trip will begin. Although there will be snow on the ground, I am unsure whether snowshoes will be necessary. If the next two winters go according to plan, I will travel through this canyon again in 2016, during the second leg of the Continental Divide winter trips. Although unsure of these other trip locations, I suspect one will be to Lionhead Mountain in Henrys Lake Mountains near West Yellowstone, Montana. All the training I am doing, particularly the strength and endurance training concerning the small of my back will only lessen the pain, not eliminate it. Although I am unsure what the results will be, I will continue to prepare for the Continental Divide trip. With a 500 square feet carpet-cleaning job in front of me though, I was unsure how the rest of the day would go. It looks like last summer’s training, which is how I ended up ill prepared in 2013 for the winter Continental Divide trip that was to begin in February.
My daily exercises and carpet cleaning is similar to the regimen of climbing mountains with a load on my back. It almost goes without saying that at times like this it becomes necessary to use the action of one day at a time, or if need be, break it down to just putting one foot in front of the other. This is how we keep our site free for you and other readers, so we greatly appreciate when you do purchase through our links! That teaches you that the most important things for survival are air, shelter, water and food. It may not seem like a big deal, but the difference in temperature from direct sunlight to shade is typically 10-20? difference (sometimes more).
Tree limbs and branches, small saplings, large boulders, even fallen trees can be used to make a survival shelter. A normally active person needs about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily, from water and other beverages. Aside from that, you can use water bricks, water bladders, or you can reuse plastic soda bottles or milk jugs. If you’re in bug-out mode, you could set up camp within 100 yards or so of the water so you have easy access. You can find wild edibles in pretty much any location on Earth so learn to recognize what foods you can eat and what foods you can’t. The thing about it is, if you’re in a SHTF situation, you will probably not have your best open-faced reel on your awesome graphite rod and your tackle box full of the newest lures.
He and his wife live as frugally as possible and try daily to live as God intends them to live.
My parents grew up in the depression era, both of my parents were abandoned by their fathers.
Things like corrupt government and corporations, war, terrorism and natural disasters, can cause us to lose focus on the things that we can actually control in our lives. It can sterilize water in as little as 10 minutes, making this an Ideal survival tool for your bugout bag. However, our troops were just glad that they had physically survived 24 hours in the 'wilderness. Everyone was ‘frisked’ for contraband, such as mobile phones, chocolate, lighters or torches.
To this end, since 2007 five MTSS instructors, based in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, have attended survival, evade, resistance to interrogation, and escape (SERE) courses in Sweden and the UK. As he was speaking, Mark, along with his fellow instructors, Flt Sgt Fred Conlon, Sgt Jay Curley and Cpl Declan Ryan, were packing up and heading to the Slieve Bloom Mountains to run another 24-hour survival exercise, this time involving 120 soldiers from the DFTC. The lectures cover the principles of survival, shelter construction, fire lighting and sourcing food and water. These principles differ between experts but the Air Corps’ survival school teaches them in the following order: protection, location, water and food. Cpl Ryan conducted a short Q&A session with the team to get the team to question the wisdom of burning their shelter and what would happen if they had to stay another night. Apart from the skills and knowledge the MTSS instructors teach, they also advise soldiers to always carry a survival kit (or tin). I will enter the Bitterroots in March and April, a time when the snowpack will likely have a crust to snowshoe on and a stable snowpack that is less prone to avalanche. On the other hand, too much weight with backup supplies and equipment could make the already difficult ascents and descents impossible to get through in the deep powder of the higher elevations.
In another 3 ? months, now near the end of May, I exited the park for the final time, successful at accessing the previously stated inaccessible Hole in the Wall area of the park. Even the elevation of 10,000 feet along the Continental Divide has an extended forecast with a low of 20°F. As it turned out, by the time I left the job site in the latter afternoon, pain was piercing through the small of my back. The largest job, at 1200 square feet combined with 15 stairs that have to be hand cleaned on my knees, is today.
Besides the two illnesses in September and November, there were other substantial interferences through last summer, autumn, and early winter with my daily exercising, which in turn contributed heavily to my failures last winter. That is why I must be able to exercise daily on Mount Helena and then continue the rest of the day carpet cleaning. They know their goal and how to get to it, but more importantly, they know how to prepare for that goal.
Without this foundation of survival, no amount of awesome weapons or cool gadgets are going to help you. The rule was created for extreme situations — prolonged exposure to frigid cold or sweltering heat could bring death a lot sooner than you may realize. However, individual needs vary, depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet and climate. Sickness, medical emergencies, and other unexpected situations may arise that cause you to use additional water.
Freeze dried foods are ideal, but you can also dehydrate your own food and seal it with a vacuum sealer. They have all the best gear, scent-away sprays, Real Tree camo clothing, tree stands – everything!
My aunt died as a young child and my Uncle almost died from Rickets, severe malnutrition, resulting from famine or starvation during the early stages of childhood.
Remember you are preparing to give you and your family security and self sufficiency during an emergency or disaster. Keeping a positive perspective and focusing on what you have control over, like how and what you stock will help keep you focused on your prepping. Each team worked unsupervised, constructing a shelter, lighting fires and trying to catch their dinner. With enhanced knowledge and new survival skills acquired, they have developed a new survival course syllabus and last year conducted the first Survival Instructors course, as well as conducting numerous basic survival courses with recruits, cadets and reservists.
It was with these principles firmly implanted in their heads that the students headed into the woods, each only wearing their combat uniforms (including thermals, fleece, hat, gloves, knife and survival kit) and carrying their raingear and a full water bottle.


Some of the salient lessons that emerged were that they hadn’t collected enough firewood before it got dark and hadn’t put enough bedding down to provide insulation from the cold ground.
You can buy these in most camping and army surplus stores, but it is better (and cheaper) to make it yourself. A huge sense of loss is welling up inside of me, awful to bear, and seemingly with no relief to come from any direction.
By the end of May, I had penciled in the initial route to travel 990 miles along the Continental Divide between Yellowstone National Park and the Canadian border on the northern edge of Glacier National Park. In the early days of September 2010, I began to make plans for a tough strength and endurance-training regimen during the following winter, coupled with the need to research an area of the Continental Divide inside Glacier National Park near the Canadian border, which was supposed to be undoable in winter conditions.
I did not realize at the time that I would be writing a book about the four trips, particularly the final trip, 16 days in length, which had nearly taken my life twice, not including the near misses of roaring and camp shaking avalanches. Skimping during past winter trips has afforded me plenty of opportunity for some costly lessons, one nearly fatal. Yesterday I did what I now consider a light walk by ascending more than 1700 feet over a distance of 5.3 miles in approximately 2 hours.
For the remainder of the day and then in bed last night the back wobbled between painful and uncomfortable. Now with my aging body and in particular because of my back, I am unable to maintain that schedule. If I am unable to maintain this daily level, there is ample reason to doubt my ability to climb with a heavy pack on for multiple days and weeks this summer, much less next winter when the load is far bigger and the travel conditions are far worse. It would probably be better to have a light weight tent like this one rather than a super-cool posh tent like this one. It’s a good idea to pack either a stainless steel water bottle or a Kelly Kettle in your bug-out bag (or both) so that you can boil your water for purification. You can also pick up some good foraging books and a deck of wild edibles cards so you can keep those in your bug-out bag for reference.
All you need to do is learn the basics (unless you have an extra fifty thousand dollars laying around that you can spend on the best gear, too), so you might not want to go with them on a weekend they already have planned. Improvise by tying a small rock above the hook for a sinker, and dig for worms or bugs to use as bait. Preparing for a broad range of events, instead of one specific event, will keep you positive and will keep you from becoming negative when or if that specific event you prepared for doesn’t happen.
Prepper offer a positive prospective of prepping for emergencies and disasters while keeping it real and relevant to our worlds current situation. I know its hard to but there is no use worrying and being fearful of possible coming events because we have no control over them. Perfect for roasting garlic, cashews, peanuts, hot dogs, sausages, pumpkin seeds, trail mix, or any other small appetizer or snack. They also get a chance to practice some butchering skills, learning how to skin and gut rabbits, pheasant and fish, while using knives and axes safely.
The group were broke into teams and each team between them had a few matches and a steel mug. It also emerged that Team Two were the only team to catch a rabbit, which they successfully skinned and boiled. I am now exercising at least twice a day in the basement for approximately one half hour per segment (the physical therapist says where my back is concerned, it is critical to do the exercises three times a day). Weather wise, as of the morning of November 13 the extended forecast calls for moderating temperatures with a low of approximately 14°F on Monday and a high of 32°F by Tuesday, excellent traveling temperatures. Yet that is exactly the level I have to be at if I am to have any chance at continuing the Continental Divide trip next winter. If your shelter is completely enclosed (or at least closed on all sides but one), it will help retain heat from fire (and your body heat, as well).
Even if there is no need for using the additional supplies, the extra water will be a safety net in case whatever SHTF disaster you’re having to endure lasts longer than expected. Swish, slosh, or otherwise swirl the mixture around in the bottle so that it comes into contact with all of the inner surface a few times.
You might also want to pack some purification tablets, too, in case boiling is not possible for some reason.You can find out more about water purification in my article 5 Ways to Purify Water.
Estimate the time you’ll have to survive on the food you have on hand, then double it. You can use your dehydrator on pretty much anything, but I would recommend storing foods that are high in calories so you get more energy in smaller servings. The good thing is, you can practice hunting in your back yard with a bow, or at a range with a gun. I spent weekends at the county dump hunting for jars so my Grandma could can foods from her garden to get them through the winter.
Other shows and sites like Infowars and The Alex Jones Show, offer good content but is often skewed towards a negative, urgent, prepare now or else vibe.
However, they didn’t like the taste so they decided to go hungry and gave the rabbit to another team, who proceeded to roast and devour it.
A survival kit should be carried in your combat smock, waterproofed, sealed in a plastic bag.
In just over one month ending near the end of the second week of October, I traveled in the backcountry for 17 days.
For that reason, any attempt I would make to cross an avalanche slope after the recent snowstorm would be dangerous, even foolhardy. The load weight will be approximately 75 pounds, not counting the nearly 6-pound snowshoes. While I will not be walking or resistance training today and probably not tomorrow, I will have to get to that level this summer, in the next 30 days. A well built shelter and a fire near the opening (or even inside the shelter itself) will act similar to an oven, warming the air inside and helping to keep you warm. For my family of 5, I would like to have 140 gallons — enough for 2 gallons per person per day for two full weeks.
Fruits can be dehydrated and stored with nuts is measured amounts of homemade trail mix – great protein, sugars and high in calories!
I was so covered in filth at the end of my searching and we would stop at a farmers stock pond to clean off and have a picnic lunch.
Makes for an awesome stocking stuffer or unique gift for the guy or gal who has everything! There is no definite list of items to be carried, as this can change depending on the environment or conditions.
Then while his blank, yet cold eyes continue to stare a hole through me, his hand smashes mine to a pulp.
If nothing else, carry a decent sized tarp (which can be used for more than just shelter if need be). Prepping out of fear not only will dictate how and what you stockpile but it can also have a negative effect on your health. On the other hand, this weather can also settle the snowpack while creating a crust I can walk on with my snowshoes and crampons.
If you’re more the DIY type, you can always make your own oil cloth from a bedsheet and carry that with you. If your water is not coming from a source that has already been treated (such as city water), you’ll need to treat it with a couple of drops of bleach per gallon of water before storing it.
Young people I meet today and encounter on the internet blogs have no idea what this is like.



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Comments

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  3. EMOS3
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  4. Skarpion
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  5. dj_xaker
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