Outdoors, Green Living, Homesteading, Sustainable living, Green Building

Richland Creek Arkansas 2nd and 3rd Nov. 2012


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The Survival Pod Cast
Off Grid Net



On the 2nd and 3rd of November 2012 we will be camping primitively on Richland Creek. Richland Creek is is a major tributary of the Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas in the Boston Mountains. The elevations in that area top out at 2000 feet and Richland creek is at about 1000 foot elevation where we will be camping. The area is mostly National Forest. There is a forest service campground there but we want to hike to a primitive site.

On the 2nd me and Gary Tuck will head up there early Friday morning to scout out a camp site. We will setup camp and stay that night. Next Day Brandon Hoult and Kevin Barber and a few others may join us. I will have to take Gary home that evening and come back to camp before dark.

We will have 10hr38min of day light on those two days.  7:35 am sunrise to 6:15 pm sunset. Solar Noon will be at 11:52am. Moon rise will be around 8:40pm on 2nd and 9:30pm on the 3rd. Moon set will be 11:20pm 2nd and Midnight 3rd. Moon will be dropping from full on the 1st and be about 85% on the nights we camp. This time of year we are almost half way in between fall start date and winter peak date. Temperatures range from 40 degrees night to 60 during day. Hunting seasons in at that time will be squirrel, rabbit and deer. Deer being bow or muzzle loader only. Gary may take the muzzle loader in case he gets a shot at one. You may hunt either doe or buck this year. Hogs of course are not regulated. I doubt we will see a hog.

For fishing I will use my 3 piece fly rod with crappie reel. I have standard 8 lb line and a few fly’s and grubs. I will also be packing a few yoyo’s. I don’ t expect to catch anything this time of year. If we see a snake or turtle it may be fair game.

For guns I will be packing Rossi Tuffy 410 black with black composite stock. I will also have the Henry AR 7 .22 camo survival rifle. I’m not sure what the others will be packing yet.Some of us will be in hammocks Others on the ground on sleeping mats. Tarps or poncho for shelter.

We will be trying out several methods of fire starting. I plan on testing some cooking techniques. Cooking in clay, aluminum foil. Hobo Aluminum Pie pan dutch oven. Aluminum foil reflector oven. Though I’m still working on a possible menu. I think the hobo camping will be more for BOV style camping.

I will be taking photo’s and logging a story on this blog.

The above is a diagram of a pattern for a ninja tent made from a 6’x8’tarp. I intend to put this up on this trip. This is a versatile tent. It could be used over a hammock, or even on a swamp bed. I’m also going to try to construct a swamp bed on this outing.


The above image is a likely camp site area. Its low in the creek and close to a clearing. Its close to some larger pools of water. We should have a chance of getting some food there.


This image is a swamp bed. After its made you probably want a mat of some kind laid on top of the sticks. If you had no air mattress or pad you may need to make a mat from grasses and leaves. This will get you above rough ground, rocks, mud and water. Rain runoff would also run under this and not get you wet. This bed might also be made in a triangular shape between 3 trees. One might lash each wood stick together with cordage to make it more permanent and sturdy.

Camp Packing List Worksheet

This Camp Packing List Worksheet is a check list for items I intend to pack on this trip. Items that are small font mean I probably won’t have it this trip. Items that are underlined are duel purpose items and may occur in more than one list. This list is still a work in progress. And I may decide at the last minute to lighten my pack and leave some of it in the BOV.


Nov 2nd was called off because Gary Tuck had to work.


I borrowed Gary Tucks Handy Talky 2 meter radio.
As I left his house and got on highway 22 towards Dardanelle AR, I picked up the Mt Nebo Repeater about 5 miles away. There was a net meeting going on and I checked in. After I got to Brandon’s house on Tucker Mountain north of Russellville I decided to try the handy talky sitting in his living room. The repeater answered back. No one was listening at the time. This was 20 miles away or more. Of course we were on the top of a hill at about 600 feet elevation. Pretty good for a handy talky I’d say. I took it to camp and got nothing. Too much of a hole up there in the Richland Creek area. Of course I may not have keyed in the right repeater frequencies. However I think it would not have worked at all in that area unless you hiked to the top of a hill. For it to work in that area the repeater would have to be on a hill of a ridge right next to Richland Creek.

Scenery pics walking to base camp 2. We, a group of 5 were separated because the first 3 took off without me the leader. They went about 200 feet off trail down to the creek level where they could not see me and Steve and we could not see them. So I hiked on to base camp 2 which was 1.2 miles from the van. Base camp 1 as about 2000 feet from the van.


This is base camp 2. This begins with the 6×8 Blue tarp that I
made into a ninja tent.


Here Steve Irwin sets up his tent using two walking sticks for post.


Here are some scenery shots around base camp 2.




We begin some camp photo’s after dark. Note the rock chair I made just right of the fire ring we found there. I had 20 different ways to start fire and Steve whips out his Bic lighter to start our fire with.

This is me sitting on my rock chair. All of us drank water taken from the creek. The creek water was clear as spring water. I purified with chlorine dioxide. I thought I would only have a 30 minute wait time but directions said 4 hours for chlorine dioxide.
Brandon purified at base camp one with UV light using the Steri-pen. You turn it on and stir the water you are purifying with it until the light goes out. It seemed to take about a minute of stirring.

Cooking Tea, bake sweet potato in tin foil, wild rice and Steve’s stew.

Baked sweet potato, wild rice.

Coffee and the alcohol stove being demonstrated. Made from a coke can by Steve Irwin, its one he gave me. In the morning I cook an omelet with it. Some of these are the stove with no flash to show the blue flames that look like a burner. There is a tea candle that Steve lit to the right of it. Note the water filter bottle from Walmart, has blue rings and spout. It worked fine, and improves your grip strength at the same time. It isn’t fast. You are supposed to put purified water in it then filter that into something else by squeezing.




Night photo that didn’t’ turn out well, I need to see if I can increase exposure time on my Digital Kodak Camera.

The next morning I checked the temperature and it appeared to have gotten down to about 38F(3.3C) just before dawn. It was in the 50’s during the daylight hours. Humidity was around 60%. The moon came up closer to midnight and was up early in the AM close to dawn. The chart I read for moon rise set was wrong, or I read it wrong.

Next a type of Hobo tin can candle camp stove I tried to make with
4 candle wicks. They lit but burned down to the wax and quite. I think the holes next to the wicks need to be larger, or the wicks need to be larger, or both.




Next morning I got up and made coffee, tang and milk. I cooked the powdered egg omelet. It turned out magnificently. Steve showed me something new in the cleaning of camp pans and pots. You can use leaves, pine needles even dirt or sand as an abrasive and scrub all the built up or burnt on matter off the pot then all that is left is a thin dirt or mud film which is easily washed off. Wouldn’t hurt to sanitize the pan in the fire before use next time. Or with soap.

Altoids can with rock holding the lid shut. Making char cloth with it from women’s makeup patches. I also us it to make charcoal. Both for fire starting tender.

Here is the finished char cloth and char coal made in the Altoids tin. All you need to do is drill or poke a small hole in any side of the tin. This allows the gasses to escape. You will see a flame shoot out this hole as it cooks, when the flame stops it has finished. Because the inside becomes devoid of oxygen quickly whatever is inside does not burn and is turned to carbon fuel. On a side note the charcoal could be crushed for making filter charcoal. And this same tin could be used to make chemically activated charcoal(carbon).

Char cloth can be used with flint and steel, bow and drill and fire piston for easy fire starting.

Now we have the Hobo Dutch oven making biscuits with Bisquick mix. It called for 1 tablespoon of milk or water for 1/3 cup mix. But I found that to be too dry. I kept adding milk until I got it to the drop biscuit consistency. I guessed at the amount of time they were in the fire and I left them in a bit too long yet they turned out fine if you cut off the burnt bottoms. I was quit impressed.







A Christmas ball that a prior camper had tied to a cedar limb near the fire pit.

Next we have a 5 drop trot line I made up at night just before bed time. We put it out
and 3 yoyo’s and caught nothing. We didn’t have them out long enough but also we feel
that this last summers heat wave has killed all the fish in the creek and they must
repopulate. We saw nothing but minnows. I only used two knots to build the trot line.
I tied the thin mono-filament to the braided line with what I have known as the girth hitch or similar to the prussic knot used in rope climbing. I backed it up with half hitches. I used the standard bass hook tie with just about any hooks. With that one you run the line through the hook then back through in the opposite direction making a small loop then run that loop around the hook making again what is like a girth hitch. Then you wrap the end around the main line 6 times and back through the split next to the hook and pull tight. Drops have to be 24 inches or 2 feet apart by regulation and i happened to have a tailor’s tape measure with me that had 120 inches on it. You leave extra line on each end from the end drops for tying to limbs. I found a super anchor rock and tied one end to it an chunked it into the creek. I tied the other end to a limb.

The sticks were for wrapping each drop around. This prevented entanglement of one drop
with another in transit.












This photo shows the petrified encrustations of ocean creatures in the stone at the
creek level. Lots of limestone in the area and nice sized caves as well.










This begins Base Camp One Photos




Next we demonstrate the Sierra stove. This stove has one AA battery and a small fan directly underneath the fuel/fire area. The bottom and sides are hollow allowing air flow from underneath up to the sides and inward through holes on the inside wall. You can use any small twigs, leaves, pine needles, bark or camp trash as fuel. It burns quit hot and cooks very efficiently. We were reheating a cooked chicken breast in these photos.














This is a picture of the moon I think.




A panoramic 180 degree view someone took of base camp one.










Mountain and Valley scene on the way home.



In conclusion I think we didn’t have enough time as always. We didn’t have enough time for hunting and exploring. At night at base camp two we could hear small things moving around near the camp, probably either mice or small birds. Steve Irwin said he saw a squirrel. I thought I heard a squirrel off in the distance higher on the ridge chattering. Also something was between me and the water behind a tree, it made some chattering noise and scurried off in a hurry towards the water when I turn to look in its direction. I didn’t get a glimpse of it. We woke to crows calling nearby at dawn. Ahsan said in base camp one that coyotes came into camp and sniffed around Micheal’s tent then went on. He was camping out on the open ground in a sleeping bag. I heard coyotes yipping after I got in the sleeping bag. Steve thinks he heard a deer walking through camp but I told him it was probably me getting up for a nature call. All in all I think there would have been more survival game in the country where I grew up around the farm than up in the mountains where we were. Though I didn’t get much time for hunting. I did sit a few times just outside camps view in a few locations with the shotgun. We didn’t get time to put a swamp bed. I have heard that its illegal to cut down anything live. And a person would have to do a lot of searching for dead wood that would be strong enough for a swamp bed.

The next day I tried out the char cloth with flint and steel and it worked great. I also tried out the 8×11 Fresnel lens close to noon. And it worked great. I forgot to try a magnifying glass I had. I tried the concave lens from a large flash light and it didn’t work it wouldn’t focus the light hardly at all. Perhaps you need a car headlight lens instead. We will try more fire starting methods on the next trip I guess.

One thing I realized is that when you pack lots of gear and especially lots of expensive gear to include guns and expensive knives, you don’t want to walk away from camp and leave anything unattended. This can be a little burdensome. Especially if you have fishing and hunting to do. So my point is that expensive gear is not all its cracked up to be. This is another reason to keep things simple and pack light. This isn’t such a problem when camping next to the vehicle as you can lock everything up in the vehicle when you go out to hunt/fish/gather.

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5 responses

  1. Ahsen

    Interesting detail of this trip. I would definitely like to go back again.

    November 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    • Well, I’ll probably choose a different location in Arkansas for the next trip. Specifically somewhere with more game/fish options.

      November 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

  2. Two items that might have come in handy. Solar USB cell phone charger. Thermo Electric cell phone charger.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm

  3. Judi

    Very nice!!! It looks like you had a great time, and I agree that the expensive toys to do things with are overrated.

    November 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm

  4. That brings back memories. Back in the mid 70’s I did some primitive camping there. It is the Boston Mountain area I think. We had our base up high on Sulfer creek and hiked, climbed and explored our way down to Richland Creek. I still have the Topo map around here somewhere. I have wondered if it was still the same and am glad to see it is. I wish we had digital cameras back then. Thanks!

    July 4, 2014 at 12:00 am

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