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  1. Default Planning for my first road trip

    Good evening everyone! To start off, I would like to explain why I want to do a road trip. I live in long island, new york (20min from NYC) and well, I'm tired of this suburban/city-scape that's just all around me. I've always had fun in nature, going camping, hiking through the woods, some rock climbing - but it was never everlasting, just something to do during the day. For me, I want to break free for awhile, go into the wild and survive. I'm sure some people can understand that I just want to have a sense of rebirth within me. I mention all of this because the kind of trip I'm proposing is, well, quite dangerous.

    I'm planning for a 6 month trip, but wouldn't have a problem if it became a year. I'm planning to leave in March (not willing to wait till the summer, despite the dangers of extreme cold weather environments) and head west (around the rocky mountains/grand canyon) and then loop back. This trip will be entirely on foot, although I will have an inflatable raft so I can utilize the water for movement. I'm aiming to achieve a pace of 40-60km per day (on foot) depending on the terrain of the environment, and with a pack that weighs anywhere from 40-80 lbs. The pack of coarse will either have a separate or internal frame to reduce stress on the back (and I plan on getting myself adjusted to long 'marches' with the bag before I step off).

    I will be carrying fire starting equipment, water procurement items, a comprehensive first aid kit, food procurement items, signaling items, shelter creation items, mountaineering equipment, and miscellaneous items. I will have a GPS unit for accurate tracking, but will mainly rely on maps and compasses. The GPS is mainly to make sure I'm navigating correctly, or if I need to navigate very quickly (such as a medical emergency situation).

    Hunting and Guns: To be perfectly honest, I've never gone hunting before, but I am experiences with weapons and handling. I would like to bring a .30-06 bolt action rifle for marksmanship and personal defense, if necessary. Obviously, this caliber weapon is overkill for small game, and due to the nature of my trip, killing large game for food would be wasteful (due to lack of preservation). Within my food procurement items, I have hooks, weights, and lines for fishing, as well as material to construct snares for small game. My concern however is moving cross country with the rifle. It would be transported in a rifle case when not in use, attached to my pack or slung over the shoulder, and in certain areas, in hand ready for use. I don't want to break any laws or get myself into trouble.

    As I've mentioned, I've never hunted so it may take me awhile to stomach it up (probably at the point were I need to eat) I am interested in 'vegan' friendly food (to be perfectly honest though, I am not a vegan at home. I eat meat, i just don't kill it - fishing i have no problem with) such as berries and such. I am aware that there are a lot of things out there that are poisonous and can seriously harm or kill you. Are there any books out that cover eatable plants in the wild, specifically the united states, and with clear visual references. To calm my cautious nature, I plan on bringing baggies with me so I can take a sample of eatable and non-eatable plants, in a sense to keep a 'live' visual reference, using a book as my original reference. After watching 'Into the Wild', I definitely don't want to take a change. The threat is very real (i also have a detailed method of testing food). I will also be depending on 3 types of carried food: rice, beans, and grain. I haven't figured out the portions that I would need for a given amount of time, so I cant say how long I expect these rations to last. It all depends on weight and size and how much I need per day. I will however be planning side trips to towns/cities in order to replenish this supply, but I want to keep it to a minimal. I only want to maintain a certain amount for each. Everything else is up to me.

    One of my concerns at this point is camp sites. I will by all means be living in the wild, as I make my way across the country. I had originally thought that I could utilize national parks, but some parts along my path do not allow camping. Should I do it anyway? Or do other options exist. I can easily construct a suitable shelter for any given environment, and I had planned to make them concealed, but at the same time, I don't want to be doing it in the wrong area. A camp fire will be a necessity to me and so I need to be able to build one close to my shelter.

    While I am bringing mountaineering equipment, I don't plan on doing any serious climbing. But I will be using it to rappel from medium heights. The rope, with a grappling hook, can also be utilized for high current river crossings.

    I hope that wasn't too long. If anyone could provide any information towards my problem I would greatly appreciate it. I'm hoping to get this trip started asap, but I definitely don't want to sacrifice in planning!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default beyond the scope

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Quite frankly, this is the kind of trip that sounds far more like a pipe dream than anything rooted in reality. While I'm not trying to discourage you, there are just a lot of things that simply aren't realistic.

    We'll just start with the very basics, you want to walk about 30 miles a day, with a full pack of gear. At an average pace, you'd have to walk 8 hours a day to accomplish that. That's not something you just get up off of your couch and do, and quite frankly, isn't even very realistic with all of the training in the world.

    You also apparently want to do this without any respect for rules and laws. You need licenses to hunt and fish in the US, even small game, and if you are just walking around with a gun, you're probably not going to get the best reception with a lot of people. You also can't just set up camp whereever you feel like it. Every piece of land in the US is owned by someone, and most people aren't real receptive to people trespassing on that land. I'll even get into the practical sense, if you were to go hunting, would you have any idea how to prepare an animal to be eaten?

    There are a number of survivial shows on TV, and certainly books/movies like "Into the Wild" can make living out in the woods sound like a real romantic idea. Unfortantly, the reality of those situations is very much glossed over by the mass media.

    Ultimately, I think you are very much underappreciating the scope of what you think you want to do. If you decide you still want to move forward, I wish nothing but the best. However, the kind of trip you are talking about really extending beyond the focus of this forum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia



    The very best thing you could do is join a bushwalking (hiking) and camping club. Going out with others into places you have never been, doing with others the things you have never done will make you understand what is required by the way of regulations, equipment and physical demands.

    My husband and I went on outings with a club for five years, firstly doing day trips, then weekend trips, then backpacking trips of longer duration and finally cross country skiing and snow camping.

    When we felt confident we started going off on our own and slowly introducing our five young children to life outdoors. All are now competent walkers, skiers and campers. It is not something you learn in a classroom or from a book, and it takes experience.... before you can successfully go off on your own.

    I know what you mean wanting to get out of suburbia. But you can't just pick up your pack and go. As Michael says, your plan is not realistic. You will not last a week.

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