Survivalist trip

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Joubertlab
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Survivalist trip

Post by Joubertlab » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:08 am

Hi all, this might be the wrong forum, if so please forgive me.

I (35y) am planning to take a trip with my older brother (38y) into the wilderness for something similar to a survival trip.

Now just to clear the air we don’t want to go chasing lions with a lion cloth and a water bottle…yet 
I simply intent to go and test and experiment with survival techniques and live as primitive as possible. We will definitely kit ourselves with the necessary resources to prevent emergency situations but, we would like to see to which degree we can be self-sufficient.

I don’t intend on going at it like the Discovery channel. I merely want to experience nature in its rawest form, bonding with my boet will be an added benefit, provided we don’t m#er each other during the trip 

My question relates to safety and location.

Are there any locations that will let us enter and camp unrestricted, in other words gather, forage and use from the wilderness as we need?
I am aware of the guided survival adventure operators but I prefer a more personal experience

My ideal situation will be hiking for up to a week along a river system where we can fish and sleep where and how we choose, far enough away from crooks and close enough to civilization to access help if needed.

Thanks a mil!

Juba

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Rastaman
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by Rastaman » Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:33 pm

Sounds great but I would do it with some food in my backpack.
Then any nature reserve where you can over night works.
Not quite sure about the whole living off the land thing.
The animals are already under so much stress that I wouldn't personally want to somehow heighten my own wilderness experience by killing the very animals that live in these areas.
I guess fishing would be ok as long as you not catching yellowfish or something like that.
Which pretty much leaves carp and barbel. Yummy.

Go for it but pack some smash.

mokganjetsi
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:26 pm

I agree with Rastaman's view. Wildlife is under immense human pressure; the ocean' & rivers taking the unseen brunt of it. As romantic as "living off the land" may seem, that era is over - for public land at least. Please consider taking your own food as an act of respect for the few wilderness areas left in this world.
As for a grand experience, go hike the Drakensberg Grand Traverse unsupported. A World class epic adventure.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:22 am

Unfortunately the idea that you can just go live off the land ignores a large problem. The land all belongs to someone else. You're at best going to be guilty of trespassing and at worst (assuming that you kill the animals that live there) theft and malicious damage to property. I doubt that you're going to find any land owners willing to just let you camp where ever and the Wilderness Areas (like the Cederberg or Groot Winterhoek) where you may camp where ever are nature reserves.

Ya, take some smash
Happy climbing
Nic

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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by deSouzaFrank » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:09 am

My friend and I regularly do something similar to your idea. But as everyone has mentioned, legal or permitted access to land is basically impossible, but that has never stopped me before, so we do what we call (lame as it may sound) stealth camping. Leave no trace. Move in the brush, stay out of clearings, keep quiet, no fire (unless completely concealed, and it hardly ever is possible), certainly not kill something to eat, when it is a situation we put ourselves in for fun. Should authorities or land owners catch us on their land or reserve we most probably will be in deep shit or shot at. So setting up a whole lot of snares and kak slows you down and increases your chances of being caught. Take chow with. You really don't need anything big or elaborate. You can go surprisingly long with very little food, but make sure you're prepared for the weather and that water is sorted. Purification tabs, take a loads of them and don't keep them all in the same place. Also don't be cruising around in you bright yellow North face rain coat or use you illuminace orange osprey backpack.

Let family or friends know of your stupid plan, when, where, and how long.

Take emergency gear. Keep a first-line first aid kit in your pocket. You never know when you might have to ditch your bag or loose your bag during, let's say a river crossing or what not.

I have always returned home swearing to never do it again, but...inevitably my mate, the nutter, convinces me again and again.

Chris F
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by Chris F » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:38 am

I would have thought somewhere coastal would be better? If you are travelling the coastal fringe it is essentially a "no man's land", where there is likely to be a lot more food, firewood, fishing and a more relaxed attitude? Maybe somewhere on the Transkei coast or Northern Cape?

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:31 pm

Only below the high tide line, above that, suspicious farmers will shoot you first and ask questions later
Happy climbing
Nic

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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by deSouzaFrank » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:32 pm

.

thestigboy
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by thestigboy » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:34 pm

Hi Juba,

First time to this website and came across your post looking for something completely different, but saw this and hope i can help.

I'm from Australia, and earlier this year, I undertook an expedition to walk the entire coastline of SA from Oranjemund (Namibia Border) to the Kosi Bay Border Control Area (Mozambique border) in 100 days. Was around 3700-3800Km in total, started NYE and successfully finished in 97 days. The trip, though obviously longer, was intended as a survivalist/endurance/camping adventure. Did this solo, and on a budget of 1USD a day. Pretty much survived on instant noodles, and the kindness of anyone who would offer me food.

The adventure took me from 84-85 kilos to 73 in the first 22 days, and then between then and the end, around 4 kilos. I did not have emergency services or a support vehicle, so was self sustained and carried everything on my back. Like i said, although not exactly what you are looking for, as you intend to solely live off the land, I carried 5 days worth of food (Instant noodles, garlic to boost immunity, and some coffee, biltong if someone offered me.) and 3 days worth of water (5L plus 1 L emergency). In case i ran out, in desolate areas in places like the Northern Cape or the KZN North Coast or Transkei, I had to find ways to live off the land. Would have loved to live more off the land, but as I had to pretty much walk a marathon distance a day, i also had a schedule to keep.

PS- I am ex-military,7 Years, with experience in Jungle, Desert and Mountain AO's.

I know the tough choice is choosing between going full 'into the wild' and living off the land completely, or carrying some essentials of civilisation like coffee, sugar, spices etc etc. The first would def be more challenging, and more bonding between the two of you, but the second is not too bad either as you're entitled to a decent tent and a hot cup in the morning. I would suggest you have an element of hiking to do every day, perhaps a target on the map you need to get to every day. Some river crossings perhaps, and some challenges along the way. (Can def help you plan a 7 day adventure if you zeroed in on an area.) Siting around doing fuckall will pretty much kill you. My worst enemy out there was the monotony, not the fatigue.

As I had to keep the weight to an absolute minimum, and carry only bare-essentials on hard rationing. Here are some tips i can recommend.

1. As a thumb rule, every piece of gear, unless absolutely essential (eq. stove,) should serve two or more purposes. (eg Leatherman, InflatableMattress - Used as a raft to for river XG.)
2. Cut weight wherever possible. Yes, like the movies, you only need the brush end of the toothbrush. Chop Chop Chop.
3. Always carry spare straps, paracord and rope (Climbing and Binding).
4. Duct Tape, Shoelaces, batteries.
5. Carry lighters. Plenty. Its not cheating. You can do without the effort of drying, rubbing and hoping for friction.

I'll let you know when i can think of some more, probably not, as I'm about to catch a flight. I know im not South African, but after this walk I know the coastline here pretty damn well, inch by inch, and would be more than happy to help if you got questions.

You can find pictures of this stupid expedition here -
INSTAGRAM - @ myonionandme
FB: facebook.com/myonionandme

Hope it helps mate,

Stig

thestigboy
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by thestigboy » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:36 pm

Also yes,they're right,

Unless you want to apply and get prior permission and clearances which would probably take around 3.2 years , you'll be pretty much trespassing all the bloody way mate. Enjoy it, wheres the fun in it otherwise.

Cheers.

Joubertlab
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by Joubertlab » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:38 am

Hi everyone, thanks for the awesome responses. Certainly a number of things to consider, I should clear up that the necessary food items will be present...
Trapping and snaring is not something I would consider for the same reasons you mentioned earlier, besides the fact that I am no good at it :lol:

Hiking seems to be the logical option...can you hike and pitch a small tent with a fire at least?

It seems I will have to test my skills in my backyard, hoping the neighbors don't call the cops or the fire brigade

It is a sad state that we have so many limitations based on our own foolish ways...

Last resort is going to the family farm and spending some nights in the bushveld. I was mostly hoping for the wilderness scenery though

I will keep you up to date

Thanks so far

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:04 pm

Joubertlab wrote:Hiking seems to be the logical option...can you hike and pitch a small tent with a fire at least?
Yes to hiking in places like the Cederberg or other wilderness areas (Drakensberg). NO to fires. That will get you into massive, massive trouble because of the risks of it getting out of control and spreading. Carry a stove like everyone else.
Happy climbing
Nic

ccjoubert
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by ccjoubert » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:14 pm

Consider Lesotho, there are no fences and nobody really care about where you go, there are huge semi-wilderness areas. However, when passing a village, it is expected to find the chief and request permission to pass or camp close to the village (I’ve never had problems if I didn’t, but it's good courtesy). You will always be able to buy food along the way from locals if you run out; the shepherds usually have a bag of maize in their huts. In the Drakensberg area, fires are not allowed, but inside Lesotho you can make them, just be careful.
I have always found the people friendly when I passed, but have never stayed at the same place for a longer time. I think it would in anyway be better to keep going. Knowing a bit of Sesotho goes a long way.
If you stay above 2500m ASL you won't find it very crowded.
I don't think you would find much food in the veld in Lesotho, but perhaps you can learn to catch ice rats, they are a pest, you'll do the place a favour.
Have a look at the Jorodane or Bokong river areas. I don't know much about fishing (or the regulations in Lesotho), but I’ve heard that these rivers have good trout. There are not too many people living around there.
Our usual way of going to the mountains in Lesotho is to leave our vehicle at a nearby lodge along a busy road and catch taxi’s to where we want to go. To get out we would head for one of the tar roads and hitchhike or catch taxi’s back to our car.
If you like fishing, have a look at Call of the stream by Peter Brigg. (The author’s lifelong passion is catching trout in streams in the Drakensberg and Lesotho)
Don't visit during the Basotho initiation camps in early summer.
You’ll gain good experience by first doing some Drakensberg hiking.
Visit the Lesotho Land Authority in Maseru for 1:50k maps. Alternatively you can get the 1:250k maps (there are six of them) at the Surveyor General in one the provincial capitals. Or just make google earth printouts.

mattb595
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by mattb595 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:26 am

Why not try the amatola hiking trail its a serious 5-6 day hike in indigenous forest you guaranteed to be the only ones on the trail most times! Its a serious trail and will truly test you man ratio!

http://www.amatolatrails.co.za/

thestigboy
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by thestigboy » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:12 pm

Joubertlab wrote:Hi everyone, thanks for the awesome responses. Certainly a number of things to consider, I should clear up that the necessary food items will be present...
Trapping and snaring is not something I would consider for the same reasons you mentioned earlier, besides the fact that I am no good at it :lol:

Hiking seems to be the logical option...can you hike and pitch a small tent with a fire at least?

It seems I will have to test my skills in my backyard, hoping the neighbors don't call the cops or the fire brigade

It is a sad state that we have so many limitations based on our own foolish ways...

Last resort is going to the family farm and spending some nights in the bushveld. I was mostly hoping for the wilderness scenery though

I will keep you up to date

Thanks so far
J :pirat: ,

Agree with most of your points.

You should be fine hiking mate. If you're carrying your own food, should be even easier. And a two man tent should more than suffice. I had an MSR Elixir 2 throughout my expedition. Served me well.

Would suggest a stove and gas canister. One from Cape Union (any brand, as long as its compatible with the stove), and for a weeks cooking for two, a 0.5 L canister could suffice. I had a MSR Pocket Rocket and Kovea/MSR stove. Solid and still going strong.

Only suggesting a pocket stove because 1. Easier to control, and you ABSOLUTELY do not want forest fires 2. easier to hide the light. The only two things you need worry about are the good side of the law, and the bad side which is mountain people and crooks who wanna stick pointy things in you. And the fact that you dont have to worry about finding drying wood and all those hassles.

As long as you're even 1km+ off the highway, you should be fine. Nobody really gives a shit.

Yep. Go for wilderness or off the map. Family farm just wouldn't be the same. Get out there, get lost a little, it will be awesome for a brother-bonding trip. The more shit you run into, the more memories.

Or like i said map-out a route chart. Add some rivers to cross, dense forest etc etc, and plan to end at the family farm. That way, you have a support system in case shit hits the fan. You cellphones should work most parts of SA, i only had a few days of no service and zero comms. Don't worry too much about private land. At most, you'll get a telling off if you play dumb. If lucky, you might get a free meal and a water re-supply. If you're close to a village, make sure nobody sees you as you head the area you plan to camp. More chance of running into those than someone enforcing trespassing laws.

I am in CT for a while, if you are in the whereabouts, i would be happy to loan you my tent for your hike. Cheers :) :pirat:

PS- Consider the Transkei perhaps?

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henkg
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by henkg » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:00 pm

Methinks if you want to be a purist then it should be without modern gadgets (tents and stoves) and food other than an emergency ration. Possibly the coastline provides a source of food where your impact on the ecosystem would be minimal (think limpets and mussels). I'm thinking of sections along the west coast. Between Lutzville and Hondeklipbaai you will not risk wildfires, muggings, rangers etc. Water would be the major challenge.


Sounds like a great adventure!
You may still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not. Cat Stevens

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:34 pm

thestigboy wrote:Don't worry too much about private land. At most, you'll get a telling off if you play dumb.
There are lots of guys who breed game on their farms, including buffalo (which are just about the most dangerous animals around). These are incredibly expensive investments and are subject to frequent theft and so these guys do not f#%k around when it comes to trespassers. At best you can do jail time, at worst, you just disappear.

If you want to do it, ASK PERMISSION. Just because their farms are larger than your back yard doesn't mean that they are any more tolerant of random okes with unknown purpose wandering around than you would be finding some guy in your garden. You'd likely call your armed response and have them arrested. Why should we treat the farmers differently?
Happy climbing
Nic

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Re: Survivalist trip

Post by Ghaznavid » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:06 pm

I was also thinking Lesotho would fit your specs best. You can always head to Mnweni in the KZN Drakensberg, head up Rockeries Pass and follow the Senqu (Orange) River from the source for as long as you want. Mokhotlong seems like a logical end point. I believe you are allowed to fish the river on top, but you should double check. A Grand Traverse is a great outing - but don't try and live on the land on that, that won't end well. Self-supported is a challenging prospect, I have completed 4 DGTs and one of them was self-supported (admittedly only 5 days) - not an easy hike, and not one to mess around on.

Please do make sure you have a good sleeping bag, even if just as a backup. Spending a night on a mountain without one is not fun. You can probably get away without a tent if you are experienced at Drakensberg hiking, but otherwise you will find yourself spending nights under the stars and in the morning you will have a soaked sleeping bag due to dew (assuming no rain). There are plenty of rock overhangs if you know where to look for them. This theory backfired for me when the only cave we could find was flooded, earlier this year at Vergelegen. On another occasion we named our cave "Headache Cave" - the roof was almost high enough for one to put one's hand on their chest. We made an improvised shelter and got up well before first light to avoid dew on the Vergelegen trip.

Most areas won't let you make fires, and definitely not wise in the Drakensberg or Lesotho.

If you go for the Senqu River hike, go and make friends with some Basothos along the way, you will probably be invited for dinner by some of them. 99% of them are exceptionally friendly. Learn some Sotho and read up on Basotho tradition and culture first.
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly

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