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Old 01-22-2014, 06:35 PM   #61
Justin
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Without the rewards of hunting, fishing, & trapping, say you come out of the woods once a week and spend $50 in groceries. That's roughly $200 per month, or $2,400 per year, or $12,000 for 5 years, not including any needed new clothing, gear, or other financial obligations.
Certainly not out of the realm of possibility for many people.
I know some people who collect more than that in disability and are very strong hikers.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:27 PM   #62
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Without the rewards of hunting, fishing, & trapping, say you come out of the woods once a week and spend $50 in groceries. That's roughly $200 per month, or $2,400 per year, or $12,000 for 5 years, not including any needed new clothing, gear, or other financial obligations.
Certainly not out of the realm of possibility for many people.
I know some people who collect more than that in disability and are very strong hikers.
I don't know if I could live on $50 a week. I'm sure people do, but I don't think it would be good for you.

But even so, say you didn't benefit from social services... you'd need an investment of around $50k before taxes to get that much per year at 5%. Nothing can guarantee that and you'd have to deal with inflation.

That seems like a chunk of change for most of us, but I guess if you sold off all the superfluous crap that you wouldn't need then it wouldn't be that hard to obtain.

Hunting, fishing and trapping might be a benefit but I'd bet you could spend near that much on licence fees and ammunition throughout the year. And still I doubt you could be entirely self sufficient without the benefit of a freezer.

There are a couple other pesky things you would have to deal with:

- Garbage. No one will take this for free and you'd have to carry yours out when you went for supplies and try to figure out where to get rid of it. This is the beauty of sustainable living, there is no garbage - never becomes a problem. Just don't **** where you eat and you're fine.

- Gear Storage. Where do you stash your winter gear in the summer and vice versa. Carrying the amount of gear you might need to survive throughout the year might get cumbersome. Leaving it unattended where someone might find it is a risk as well, especially if you don't have extra money to replace needed survival items. Someone might call the DEC and have them clean out your illegal stash of 'junk'

- Food storage. Obviously not an issue if you buy on-grid junk food but for hunting and fishing you need to cure and smoke foods for the months when you cannot hunt either legally or cannot fulfill your calorific needs due to shortage. The rub is storing it in a way that other humans or critters won't get at it.

- Sickness or Injury. You are pretty much screwed here. You could hope maybe someone would take you in but a small flu could be life threatening. A broken bone might mean losing the ability to hunt, etc...

It sounds fun and all, and I was serious. I really do think of doing it. I don't know how long I could keep it going though.

And as much as we think that living free in the wilderness might be fun, not so long ago people feared this. Some fears were unfounded but some still apply. Not knowing where your next meal will come from or having to deal with unknown hardships like sickness could be life and death situations. We were brought up in a sheltered life and take that for granted. It might not be fun after a while...
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:41 PM   #63
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You bring up good points, l'oiseau. Thanks.
However, I'm still not convinced that it is completely impossible.
A lot of what you mentioned is covered in my hypothetical situation in the original post.
There's no need to store food if you're close to town.
Garbage could be discarded in public garbage cans at most stores where you'll be buying groceries.
Family and friends could help with storage if need be.
Illness or injury, we all take that risk as recreationalist.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you have the money and the means, I believe it is possible to live a "hermit or hobo" lifestyle on Adirondack state land, while continuing to be in compliance with NYSDEC regulations.

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Old 01-22-2014, 08:58 PM   #64
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I don't doubt it is possible and the NPT hobo proved it last year. I have no idea what his entire situation is/was but he did it for at least this past summer.

I guess my ramblings point out why, I, specifically, haven't done it yet. I'm sure there are a million reasons why people don't...

Personally I would rather live in a tribe, or commune, on my own land that was near a great deal of state land. That way we could farm, hunt, gather, take care of each other, and have some rec time and take advantage of a large deal of land without having to pay a large amount of tax.

Humans are more of a pack animal. It is much tougher being a lone wolf.

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Old 01-22-2014, 09:29 PM   #65
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Humans are more of a pack animal. It is much tougher being a lone wolf.
For some, not all.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:35 PM   #66
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For some, not all.
I bet if Grace wanted to start a pack with you, you'd change your tune

I'm going to go dream about living in a lean-to from my nice warm bed
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:07 PM   #67
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If you wanted to be a nomad in woods it would be easier to do flip flops on the AT then live in the ADK's. There are tons of people on the AT but you could learn the stealth spots after awhile. In the summer you could tend to the north and the winter you could be in the south. There are tons of hiker resources along the way.

I don't know about the other north south trails but if you could not stand the sight of people they maybe better. I think they maybe harder to live on...
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:07 PM   #68
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for extra gear storage you could do the bounce box thing.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:13 PM   #69
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Closest I ever got to being a hermit was two summers ago when I was a caretaker for a cross country ski hut in Maine. Six weeks in the woods, with only the occasional visitor every few days. During the busy season they have a full staff, but during black fly season and late fall they only have a single volunteer at each hut. All I had to do was keep the place clean and maintain the off-grid electrical and hot water systems.
It was pretty awesome.

They're looking for volunteers, by the way.
http://www.mainehuts.org/wp-content/...escription.pdf
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:28 PM   #70
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I bet if Grace wanted to start a pack with you, you'd change your tune

I'm going to go dream about living in a lean-to from my nice warm bed
Fortunately, like me, Grace is not a fan of lean-tos.
She just called a few minutes ago and wanted to know what I was up to this weekend, and if I wanted to go 'hot tenting' with her. Gotta' go, I'll talk to you later.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:08 AM   #71
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I did something like this on a much smaller scale the summer of 2004. I was between jobs, unattached, and had some money saved up, so I decided to spend the summer exploring the Adirondacks. Most of time it was just me and my dog, although I had a few prearranged visits with friends and family.

I started on Cranberry Lake at the end of June. My brother dropped me off in Wanakena with my dog, canoe, and 3 weeks worth of food and gear. I paddled around the lake, staying at a different site every couple of days, and once stashing my canoe and gear and heading into the 5 ponds wilderness for a 6 day trek. My brother picked me up 18 days later in the village of Cranberry Lake.

After spending a weekend at home, I went back up, this time for over a month, until the end of August. I started in the Moose River Plains, setting up a camp at 1 of the drive-in sites and doing longer treks from there. The best trip I did was when some friends came to visit for a couple of days- we camped in the Moose River Plains, and then when they left they dropped me off in Piseco and I hiked back to my vehicle via the NPT. I did a few other multi-day trips in the west canada and pigeon lake wilderness areas, coming out every 4 or 5 days to resupply in Inlet or Old Forge.

That summer was one of the best times of life, despite the fact that for much of it, it was cold and rainy and generally not great weather conditions for camping. I doubt I'll ever get to anything quite like that again, now that I'm married and deeply entrenched in family obligations. I guess this is a good deal short of becoming a full-fledged hermit, but it's the closest I'll ever get.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:28 AM   #72
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If you wanted to be a nomad in woods it would be easier to do flip flops on the AT then live in the ADK's.
Yup. That has long been an idea of mine. Would be quite costly to do seen as how farming and hunting would be difficult.

How can you collect welfare and be an AT hobo? If someone figures that out, let me know... I'm in.

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Closest I ever got to being a hermit was two summers ago when I was a caretaker for a cross country ski hut in Maine...
It was pretty awesome.
Yeah, as long as you can keep your wits about you...

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Old 01-23-2014, 11:20 AM   #73
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Ha, yeah, I got a lot of "The Shining" jokes from friends and family. "All work and no play makes Chris a dull boy".

Ironically, at one hut, Stephen King himself had supposedly donated money to help with the construction of the huts, and there was a shelf at one hut, with copies of all his books. I read through most of the Dark Tower series.

The huts are run as a non-profit company, and were funded by donations. LL-bean and Tom's Of Maine (the hippie toothpaste company) both were big donors, and are given due credit on plaques at some of the huts. Tom's donated money for a foot bridge as well, and it's known as the "toothpaste bridge".
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #74
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Being a modern day hermit is very different from an extended camping trip. The Adirondacks is a harsh place. Without outside assistance it would be very difficult to provide warm shelter and food through the winter.

As romantic and liberating as the whole notion seems my guess is it would get old pretty quick.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:51 PM   #75
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Being a modern day hermit is very different from an extended camping trip. The Adirondacks is a harsh place. Without outside assistance it would be very difficult to provide warm shelter and food through the winter.

As romantic and liberating as the whole notion seems my guess is it would get old pretty quick.
Couldn't agree more and even Jeremiah Johnson would get lonely if the movie was longer than two hours.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:14 PM   #76
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Being a modern day hermit is very different from an extended camping trip. The Adirondacks is a harsh place. Without outside assistance it would be very difficult to provide warm shelter and food through the winter.

As romantic and liberating as the whole notion seems my guess is it would get old pretty quick.
It would become fighting for survival in a very short time, there's a reason humans don't live that way anymore, it's a miserable existence.
Going to the woods as a way of recreation or temporary escape is one thing, ccontinuously wondering what your next meal is going to be is another, also that sleeping bag is going to get pretty smelly after a month or so, and not going to the dentist will eventually lead to pain, if you even last that long.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:17 PM   #77
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I completely agree with the traditional premise of the term "hermit."
In modern times I don't see it being that far fetched for someone with the means and desire to live the type of drifting lifestyle described earlier in this thread, which may be better labeled as a "hobo" if you will...or "that crazy weird guy who has tons of money, and has friends in every town, and likes to live in the woods".
Even if it's just for a few months, if not a few years.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:20 PM   #78
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Did you ever go to the museum in Albany. It has a long house display. Those people lived that way. The rafters were filled with corn and squash. They had a village of people to do the hunting and help with the work. They also had thousands of years of experience.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:55 PM   #79
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Did you ever go to the museum in Albany. It has a long house display. Those people lived that way. The rafters were filled with corn and squash. They had a village of people to do the hunting and help with the work. They also had thousands of years of experience.
I have. I live in Colonie and have been there many times since early childhood.
Fortunately, that's not the type of lifestyle & existence that I'm talking about.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:12 PM   #80
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I revived this thread because Justin posted in the hobo thread but I think it makes sense that one could 'live like drifter' if you had enough money to do so. Heck, I'm sure people do it without any money... but they may blur the lines of legality here or there to get by... I know I would.

But I guess where I was going is it never really makes sense. That is why I think about it, but don't do it. Most people that have enough money to freely roam about take advantage of the other things money can buy and rarely live in the woods. And the reasons I would want to 'leave society' cannot be fully severed without a 'miserable existence.'
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