Letter Re: Grub and Gear–Lessons Learned from an Alaskan Trapper

James, Going through some old gear last month, I found my food supply lists and notes from 1976-79. I thought the old list might be of interest and the lessons I learned during the first three years in the remote Alaska bush may be helpful to a few of your readers. I do not recommend Alaska for a TEOTWAWKI retreat but the lessons I learned the hard way may be helpful to any one in a cold climate. I grew up in California listing to stories from my grandfather about Alaska and the Yukon. When I graduated from high school my grandfather gave me his remote trapping cabin in Alaska. At 18 I had a lot to learn and discovered many things the hard way. I was lucky to survive the first year. When I got to Alaska I met my Grandfather’s old trapping partner. He told me that the…




Garden Bed Weed Management, by Southern Trapper

greatly reduces the effort in weeding. Check out growfood.com for more info TominAlaska Gardening and working a 9 to 5 job is a great conflict. My garden was 30 rows in a 40X50 plot. Southeast Alaska weeds grew at a tremendous rate because of the constant rain. It takes dedication to begin weeding at 3:30am until 6:00am. Showering, kids off to school, get breakfast, pack lunches etc then driving to work for the 8:00am start time. Speed home after work at 5:00pm and dive back into garden. Weed until 6:30pm supper. Back to garden to weed until midnight. That was one row of weeding done. It takes youth, fanaticism, a great wife that appreciates fresh food and takes care of the household details, long Alaskan summer days and a lot of experimentation to be acknowledged the best gardener in your area. It also helps if you give up TV and…




Grub and Gear–Lessons Learned from an Alaskan Trapper, by Old Dog

James, I enjoy your blog. I’m praying the Lord’s peace during your mourning. I greatly enjoyed the recent letter on Lessons-Learned from Alaska. I’d like to add: One way to deal with condensation on a rifle, or other piece of equipment, in cold climates is to bag it in plastic [such as a trash bag) outside, before entering a warm area. Once inside, the condensation will build up on the exterior of the bag. Once the rifle, or other equipment, comes up to the indoor temperature it may be removed from the plastic cover [and checked for condensation]. Lord Bless and Keep and Shine. – Cloudwarmer…




The Protein All Around Us, by Oregon Bill

…value in selling the fur to a buyer, but it is an option.” + “Squirrel fur is also a fun project and another great chance for the kids to learn skinning and tanning. Mepps, the fishing spinner company, also buys squirrel tails for ~$0.25 each.” A ‘buyer’ pays for the quality of the fur and type (species). ….. This is the price a ‘fur buyer-seller’ [Not the trapper] receives for the fur in Idaho. = idahotrappersassociation(dot)com/fur-sale-results. ********************* ********************* I’ve never trapped fur animals. … But like hunting and catching big fish, it can be a bloody business. The people that do it are part of the elemental aspect of life. … I lived on a farm for a couple of years, and watched a high school kid work his traps before school. The fur has to be properly processed and handled before the buyer will pay for it. … NOT…




Letter Re: Let’s Talk About Trapping: North American Furbearers

Letter Re: Let’s Talk About Trapping: North American Furbearer As a fellow trapper I enthusiastically read the article on trapping and although I have never eaten Raccoon. I can vouch that beaver and muskrat are good meat sources. Muskrat, I do not eat regularly, but beaver is more substantial and I do regularly take the meat and the skin is durable enough to be used for hats, mittens, coats, etc. When skinning beaver take care not to cut the castor glands, first these smell awful and would taint the meat, second you can sell them, and third you can use these to make your own lure for predators. Here is a link to a nice diagram showing where the castor glands are I often harvest part of the beaver for cooking, the skin for tanning and use the remaining parts for bait for predators. It seems to be a universal bait good for lynx, fox,…




Pat’s Product Review: Buffalo Bore Ammunition–Thinking Outside The Box

…new Buffalo Bore heavy 30-30 150 grain Barnes TSX round will not only penetrate deeply (and hold together) on deer and elk, it will mushroom very nicely. This load would also be great for black bear, too.   What’s nice about this load is, if you are going from deer hunting, to elk or black bear, you don’t have to readjust your sights, as you’d normally have to do when changing from one bullet weight to another. Nope, you can use this same 150 grain Barnes TSX bullet for much of your .30-30 hunting needs. However, if I were up in Alaska, where the really big bears are, and moose, I’d go with the other Buffalo Bore 190 grain JFN hard cast 30-30 load, for deeper penetration.   In a Winchester .30-30 with a 20″ barrel, Sundles is getting 2,271 FPS. And, even in a little 16″ barrel Trapper, he…




Retreat Owner Profiles

…a Springfield Armory, the other a Fulton Armory tack-driver. HK-91 with Hensoldt optics, Surefire laser, heavy bipod. Four 12 gauge shotguns (various makers). One Ruger PC9 carbine. One Winchester M1 carbine. One Ruger M77 in .270 with 3-9 scope. One Ruger M77-22, stainless, synthetic in .22 magnum. Two Ruger 10/22 carbines. Two Swedish M96 6.5×55 rifles. Two Springfield Model 1903 rifles. One SIG P220 .45ACP. One Ruger P85. One Ruger Mark I .22 LR . One Ruger 22/22WMR single six convertible.One SIG .380. One 45-70 single shot. One Winchester trapper in .45 Long Colt. Ammunition stock: 50,000 rounds of various ammunition, including tracer and AP for Garands. Enough powder and primers on hand to reload another 50,000. Reloading dies in all calibers to match my rifles and centerfire handguns. Fuel and power: 140 gallons diesel storage. Two 175 watt solar panels with charge controller, battery bank and inverter. Solar setup…




The SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

…posted August 27, 2008. Round 19: Carolyn W., for her article “Gardening and Seed Saving” which was posted on November 28, 2008. Round 20: George S. for his lengthy article “Field Gear on a Shoestring Budget” which was posted on January 12, 2009. Round 21: Dr. K. for his two part article: “TEOTWAWKI Medicine and Minor Surgery” which was posted on March 24 and March 26, 2009. Round 22: Mike U., for his article “Unconventional Wisdom for CCW Permit Holders”, which was posted on May 19th, 2009. Round 23: Mike S., for his article “GPS for Day-to-Day Use and Survival”, which was posted on July 14th, 2009. Round 24: Old Dog in Alaska, for his article “Grub and Gear–Lessons Learned from an Alaskan Trapper”, which was posted on September 22nd, 2009. Round 25: InfoRodeo for his article “The Dumpster List”, which was posted on October 31st, 2009. Round 26: Lin…




The Fleecing of History – Part 1, by Lazer

…to do with respect and moral beliefs that most anything else. And they only live in peace by a very thin margin of the live and let live ethos. Once crossed by either party, it’s game on, and culturally binding ties deteriorate rapidly…. Where we are at present… PatVT Very interesting and informative.Looking forward to part 2! Trapper John Great points. Two words that strike me are HUBRIS and DOMINATION. The group in power have domination as their ultimate goal. TominAlaska Trapper John, Yes, they have had world domination on their minds since KMarx. Most of these individuals are out of control. They are drunk with power and it will spill over their cups when they enacts draconian gun “laws”. Such law may be the line in the sand as half the American population is fed up with the lies, deceit, corruption, arrogance and threats. If they truly realize what…




Writing Contest Winners Announced: Round 93

…is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value) A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value), Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC, A transferable $150 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy! Honorable Mentions: We’ve also selected 17 Honorable Mention prize winners. They will each receive a transferable $100 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. The Honorable Mention prize-winning articles are: What To Do with Trash? by Mrs. Alaska which was posted on March 28, 2021. Tool Maintenance, by Richard T. which was posted on March 26, 2021. Post-Collapse…




Preparedness Notes for Thursday — March 11, 2021

Trapper and survivalist Claude Lafayette Dallas, Jr. was born March 11, 1950. The subject of several books and movies, Dallas had a “colorful” life. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of two game wardens, in Idaho. He served 22 years of a 30-year sentence before being released in 2005. He reportedly now lives in the wilds of Alaska. — SurvivalBlog Writing Contest Today we present another entry for Round 93 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value), A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day…




Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader Dick S. mentioned that there’s a great article in the February issue of Field & Stream magazine, titled; “The Ultimate Survivor: Life in the wild with Alaska’s toughest trapper.”    o o o The 25% off sale at SafeCastle on all Mountain House foods in #10 cans is in progress. They are offering free shipping to the 48 continental states! The sale ends on February 13th, so order soon!    o o o The recent article titled “Forges Foundries, and Factories” by JIR prompted several readers to write to remind me about the wealth of resources on traditional skills, published by Lindsay Books. Yes, they’ve been mentioned before in SurvivalBlog, but it bears repeating. BTW, one of their latest titles is devoted wood gasification–alowing you to make electricity from firewood.    o o o The folks at Medical Corps are holding another one of their excellent three-day “Combat/Field Medicine…




Odds ‘n Sods:

More on the unfolding derivatives debacle: The $300 Trillion Time Bomb   o o o Mark sent us this news article link: Mass Zimbabwe arrests over prices. Mark’s comment: “Note that today [in Zimbabwe] a single banana cost more than a four bedroom house did in 2000.”    o o o David V. recommended this history article from Alaska that has a some applicability to retreat provisioning: Black River Trapper: Fred Thomas    o o o From Gold-Eagle.com, Gary Dorsch, Editor of Global Money Trends (by way of SHTF Daily): Global Exodus From The US Dollar In Motion. The article includes this alarming statistic: “Since the Bernanke Fed discontinued the decades-old reporting of the broad M3 money supply in March of 2006, the growth rate of M3 has accelerated from an 8% rate to a sizzling 13.7% clip, its fastest in more than three decades. The Bernanke Fed is preventing…




Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — March 11, 2020

Today is the birthday of author Douglas Adams (born 1952). He is the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Trapper and survivalist Claude Lafayette Dallas, Jr. was born March 11, 1950. The subject of several books and movies, Dallas had a “colorful” life. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of two game wardens, in Idaho. He served 22 years of a 30-year sentence before being released in 2005. He reportedly now lives in the wilds of Alaska. Also on this day, the Great Blizzard of ’88 struck the northeastern United States (1888). March 11th is the birthday of the late actor Anton Yelchin (born 1989, died June 19, 2016). He is remembered for his portrayal of Kyle Reese in Terminator: Salvation, and as Ensign Pavel Checkov, in the most recent Star Trek movie series. He died in a freak accident wherein his parked Jeep Grand Cherokee…




Cold Weather Considerations – Part 3, by JM

…and cheeks are one of the most common parts to get frostbitten, so you need to make sure you keep everything warm. For a hat you should consider a stocking cap in the winter, either a heavy one for colder days or a lighter one for warmer days, since they can also cover your ears. If you need to keep your ears uncovered (like to wear hearing protectors at the range), there are also insulated baseball caps available, which have the added advantage of a bill to keep falling snow out of your eyes. For the ultimate in head warmth consider a trapper-style hat – I’ve worn these in -40°F wind chills and my head has stayed toasty warm. Another good option for keeping your head and face warm is a balaclava; if you cover your nose and mouth it’ll trap some heat inside, so the air you breathe in…