Bushcraft by bike

Discussion in 'Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel' started by R Stowe, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. R Stowe

    R Stowe Moderator Staff Member

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    This trip actually occurred a few weeks ago, but I totally forgot to posted. I guess it'll do for a first trip report on the new forum.

    So my two best friends, Josh, Steve, and I decided to head out for an overnight via bike in the national forest. We had driven about 13 miles of the 15-mile ride beforehand, but after the gate we had no idea what we would find. We planned to ride to the end of the forest road, take a trail down to river, and find a campsite. Simple enough. Right?

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    The ride pre-gravel. I don't take a lot of selfies, but we were a happy bunch and the shot turned out alright.

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    We found some cool rock arches.

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    We headed on to the gate via the gravel roads.

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    Soon that road swapped gravel for overgrown grass and then the grass disappeared and turn to the above "trail" at that point we were dead on according to the GPS.

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    After more "trail" and a 1 mile of handing the bikes down 3 foot tall boulders and steep switch bikes we made it to the river and set up camp.

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    I broke out my Karelia PSK and my Cold Steel Trail Hawk and got to work on a handle. I whipped up that cord wrap on the handle using some raffia grass from the craft store. Using only the knife and the hawk head I got a serviceable handle for camp chores that night.

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    We had some Good to Go meals and headed down to the river to do some fishing. Steve and I used our handlines and Josh used his tenkara rod. We got some small fish, but the river was really low and we didn't get anything worth keeping.

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    Steve used his Wilder Forge Scavenger and made a sweet adjustable pot hook.

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    As the sun went down we stoked the fire and settled in.
     
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  2. R Stowe

    R Stowe Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    The next morning this fellow strolled through camp.

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    My set up for the night was my Warbonnet Traveler 1.1, 10x10 BCO tarp, a Sea to Summit Reactor Liner, and bike bags underneath holding the small stuff. In this shot I had my tarp flipped back, but we had stakes placed so we could cover our hammocks if the need arose. Bikepacking is interesting because your space on the bike bags is limited, but you also need to carry tools and spares for the bikes. The advantage of covering 16 miles in just a few hours is nice. Especially where vehicles can't go, and you love bikes.

    We broke camp and started out the other end of the trail. It started out alright, but quickly turned into more of what we came in on. It ended up being about 3 hours of hike-a-bike before we hit the gravel forest road again. Here's the evidence of the quick deteriotation of trail conditions.

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    We built a debris bridge to cross the knee deep mud in the dried creek bed.

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    We also saw some decent bear tracks in the mud.

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    At this point it was hot, humid, and we weren't anywhere near available water.

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    After we hit the gravel for about 5 miles I hitched a ride in the back of a passing truck. We were all dehydrated and exhausted from pushing the bikes all morning. I didn't want to ruin the trip, and I for one was bordering on the "it's not fun anymore" line, and I love riding so I'm sure the other guys were to. Plus, I hadn't hitched in awhile. So I jumped in the Jeep, bought some cold sodas and sports drinks for the guys, and busted tail to get back out the forest road.

    It was an awesome trip in a beautiful place. The bike camping is a nice change to the regular backcountry adventures. I'll admit it was one of the harder trips, but it was good to push the limits and share the experience with my buddies.

    Thanks for sticking through for the long post.
     
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  3. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Member

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    Great pics man! Love that lil knife n hawk combo but not sure that's what I'd want in bear country.
     
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  4. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    Good stuff Stowe! Thanks for sharing!
     
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  5. C99c

    C99c Member

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    Nice trip. I enjoyed the pics on Instagram, but they're even better with all the details to go along with them.

    I'm looking forward to doing something similar with a couple of friends soon, providing they can set aside the time and stay out of the ER (which has proven to be a challenge for both lately). Otherwise, I may try to do a big chunk of the Pinhoti solo by bike.
     
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  6. R Stowe

    R Stowe Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for following along. It's always worth the effort to get out there. I hope you can get that trip together.
     
  7. LMF Joe

    LMF Joe Member

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    Awesome trip Rick, thanks for the pics. What forest were you in?
     
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  8. R Stowe

    R Stowe Moderator Staff Member

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    Right in the southern edge of Daniel Boone NF. It borders the Big South Fork and it's some nice rugged country. I highly recommend it.
     
  9. DYSPHORIC JOY

    DYSPHORIC JOY Moderator Staff Member

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    It is beautiful there. Nice pics and report.

    This is clearly a safety violation. You people and your bikes think that you own the road.[​IMG]
     
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  10. R Stowe

    R Stowe Moderator Staff Member

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    We do. We were actually tailgating an elderly lady at that very moment. Also we have a pretty strict set of rules... no reflectors and no helmets. Kidding... normally we do wear helmets, but this ride was mostly slow gravel and hike a bike.
     

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