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Old 01-05-2012, 09:46 AM   #41
John H Swanson
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Kind of defeats the whole purpose.
I thought the proposed purpose was to live as a hermit - meaning living alone "in the woods."
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:04 AM   #42
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I wonder what it would be like living all alone in a nomadic fashion, year round, as a hunter-gatherer using no man-made materials such as guns, clothing, compasses or maps. Clothing would be from skins. Getting a fire going would certainly occupy me for a while.

I assume early humans, in order to survive, had to be social so that they could divide labor, hunt and gather more effectively, allow for specialization. Perhaps one person was in charge of fire as a full-time job in cooler climates, another treating hides and so on.

Living as a hermit is going against the grain of over a million years of the successful evolution of our genome. So, either you have to be a little crazy to begin with or it will make you that way.

I like the idea of taking all of the benefits of civilization with you but being alone in the woods for a spell. That way you can spend your time on other things than survival. Taking high resolution digital photographs is but one example.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:24 AM   #43
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I thought the proposed purpose was to live as a hermit - meaning living alone "in the woods."
Here is the definition of "hermit":
hermit (hr m t). n. 1. A person who has withdrawn from society and lives a solitary existence; a recluse

Nothing about the woods specifically. To me "withdrawing from society" means not being dependent on any of societies conveniences as well. And having people resupply is not reclusive.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:26 AM   #44
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Question on the 'three night stay max in one location without a permit' reg...

How far do you have to move before you can camp for another 3 nights?

I thought that I remember reading or hearing that it has be at least 1 mile,
but I couldn't find it anywhere on the DEC Regulations page.

Also, is there a day limit that you have to wait before you can camp at the same location again?
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:07 PM   #45
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Question on the 'three night stay max in one location without a permit' reg...

How far do you have to move before you can camp for another 3 nights?

I thought that I remember reading or hearing that it has be at least 1 mile,
but I couldn't find it anywhere on the DEC Regulations page.

Also, is there a day limit that you have to wait before you can camp at the same location again?
Justin,

take a look here:
http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/4081.html#13001

No mention, though, of how long between permits...
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:31 PM   #46
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Justin,

take a look here:
http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/4081.html#13001

No mention, though, of how long between permits...
Thanks Mike, but I'm not seeing an answer to my questions.
I did read through all of the text within the link that I provided, which includes your link, and I didn't see anything on how far you must move your camp after a three night stay if you do not have a permit to stay longer.
It simply says "camping in one location for four nights or more is prohibited except under permit."
Nothing on how far you must move your camp after three days, and nothing on how long you must wait before you can camp at that location again...again, without having a permit.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #47
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Well anyway,
I could have sworn I read or heard from somewhere that you must move your camp at least 1 mile after 3 nights if you do not have a permit to stay longer, but I can't seem to come up with it anywhere.
And after reading through the DEC regs again I'm thinking that you cannot camp in the same location for more than 10 days in one calendar year, but again, it is not clearly defined.
If I'm wrong about these things I hope someone will please correct me.

Without a definitive answer, one might think that you wouldn't have to move your camp very far after 3 nights.

With that in mind, there are many areas in the Adirondacks where there are miles and miles of state land within a short distance of a major town or hamlet.

With enough money, and proper planning and scouting, one could move from campsite to campsite to campsite and still be within a fairly short distance to an area where you can purchase more food and/or supplies and head back into the woods for another extended period of time.

It's easy to think that this would be very difficult to do during the winter months, but some might say it would be easier.
For instance, some people are not affected by the cold in the same way as others are. Some folks prefer the colder months over the warmer months.
Also, if you had skis and a pulk, traveling with your gear would be much faster in the winter (assuming there's enough snow). Plus, you could shorten travel time by crossing frozen ponds and lakes.
Further, you wouldn't have to go very far for water with all the snow & ice around.
Not mention it would be much easier to keep meat from spoiling.
Sure, it may be a bit more difficult to have a fire, but it's definitely not impossible. I've never been winter camping and didn't have a fire of some sort.

So, going back to my original post, I do think that it is possible to live like a modern day Adirondack hermit.

Again, this is all just hypothetical.
I have no plans to live like a hermit someday.
I just thought it might be fun to kick it around the ol' fireside.
Sorry for being a bit repetitive.
Thanks for the replies.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:44 PM   #48
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Justin,
I haven't read about many "hermits" that are so mobile. Most that I have heard about have a more or less permanent location. There is a sense of "home" at their camp/cabin. Even though in many cases the land they were on might not have been owned by them, there is usually a sense(at least by them) that it is "their" place for the time they are there. Many have people come to visit them-some often. What you are describing with all the moving sounds more nomadic-more like a drifter(even though you would basically be staying in the same area). I know "moving day" is usually stressful. I'd hate to think of it over 100 times a year. You know it would always be raining or snowing on moving day!lol I think(like has been mentioned) that owning a large tract of land and building your own cabin/camp deep in the wilderness would be more along the lines of a modern day Adirondack hermit. I think the moving from campsite to campsite would leave you feeling more "homeless" than "hermit" after a while. Trying to establish, even illegally, a more or less permanent spot on public land in today's day and age in the Adirondacks I think would be difficult. I could be wrong, but I don't think most "hermits" think of themselves as homeless. They seem to have a sense of place and a spot that they call their "own"-even if many times it's not.
It's been an interesting topic with some interesting points and points of view. I also got to learn about Dick Proenneke up in Alaska which was a plus.....
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:45 AM   #49
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Being a hermit in Hawaii maybe easier.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:23 AM   #50
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Being a hermit in Hawaii maybe easier.
Much too developed
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #51
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I believe that the 10 nights in a given year rule applies only to lean-tos, and that's only if other people also want to camp at the lean-to. So if you've already stayed 10 nights at a particular lean-to, but it's empty, you can stay there again. If a group shows up and wants to move in, however, and there isn't enough room for both you and them, then you have to move out.

You can also get a permit for stays in one spot for up to 2 weeks outside of hunting season. These permits are given at the discretion of the ranger, however, and a ranger might not be willing to issue more than 1 or 2 of these if the campsites aren't spread out far enough (in his/her judgement). You can't get more than one permit for the same spot within a given year, however.

EDIT: Permits might work against you, though. I just noticed that a strict interpretation of the regulations would require you to remove all of your personal equipment from state land when the permit ended... which would mean you'd have to carry all of your gear out of the woods, then back in again.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:46 PM   #52
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Best probably to just find the worst to get to location in the park and chance it. I don't believe it is necassary to have to be resupplied by others, going into town once in a while however would be acceptable.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:51 PM   #53
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A few hidden campsites that I've stumbled across during my travels to keep in mind that may come in handy during the winter months, if I ever decide to live in the woods someday...
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:40 PM   #54
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I know that there have been several famous hermits in the area over the years, and have heard the stories about the "Bushman" captured after 20 years (http://www.adirondackbasecamp.com/20...ndack-bushman/).

Does anyone know of men or women living in the Adirondacks today who could be considered modern day hermits? Or who used to be but have since moved back to civilization?
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:08 PM   #55
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I know that there have been several famous hermits in the area over the years, and have heard the stories about the "Bushman" captured after 20 years (http://www.adirondackbasecamp.com/20...ndack-bushman/).
Anyone know if his (Alan Como's) campsite was on State land or not?

I was just reading about this story again just the other day in an old Adirondack Explorer mag. The article mentioned his camp was on the upper slopes of Park Mtn, and quoted the Sheriff saying "He [Como] knows the woods very well".

They never mentioned anything about trespassing, but I'd bet that the campsite was on private land, and he knew it.

Apparently he had also been arrested for burglarizing homes & camps while living in the woods in the White Mtns of New Hampshire as well.



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Does anyone know of men or women living in the Adirondacks today who could be considered modern day hermits? Or who used to be but have since moved back to civilization?
Yeah, we call him DSettahr.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:07 PM   #56
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most would call you simply "that.... Homeless Guy".
They would be wrong though, I think.
"Homeless" is essentially a situational thing, something you find yourself in.
"Hermit" and also, I think, "Hobo" implies a lifestyle choice, yes?
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:17 PM   #57
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Ok...hypothetically speaking...
Say you have enough money, no family, and no serious obligations that require your attention, and you decide that you want to live like a hermit in the Adirondack Mountains.

Do you think it's possible?

Of course, there are DEC regulations that you must abide to.

But if you kept on the move every 3-days, came out of the woods every so often to replenish food and supplies, and to update your fishing/trapping/hunting license, and to take care of any other needed business (taxes, ect) before heading back into woods, do you think it could be done?

Maybe you try your luck and take things a step further and risk penalisation by building a little hut or two on a hillside somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

Ok, maybe not for the rest of your life, but maybe just for a few years.
...Or a few months even.

Perhapse there's a few members here who have done this sort of thing or something similar, or know someone who has? (Cold River Bob perhaps)

Any thoughts?
I think about this quite often actually.

I've run a number of scenarios in my head where I wouldn't have to work for a corporation (or society in general) anymore and I could either be self sufficient or generally minimally reliant on society.

None of this stems from the fact that I am lazy (even though I am to some degree and is probably the #1 reason I don't actually follow through with any of these ideas) but more or less my moral qualms with my job and my lifestyle which make me feel like a hypocrite. I can rationalize a number of things I do to make it better but they never amount to more than a tiny offset for the destruction I cause. I've thought that maybe an escape to academia would ease my mind and I'd contribute more to the greater good of humankind rather than adding some nominal improvement or doodad to the pollution machine. Even this though, by my very existence of non-renewable consumption, does not equate to something even remotely just by the laws of the wild.

So I've thought of leaving it all. Or at least as much as I can, putting all my money into a safe but moderate return investment just so I can pay my way through societies rules and maybe buy my way back in when it all goes wrong.

And I wasn't alone. My wife was with me too. She's asked me how much money we would need. I would not want to stay in one location either. I'd rather stay in the north during the summer months and migrate down south for the winter. One's who existence would be a trip back and forth along the AT. Birds can do it, why not this oiseau?

Then I think about what I'd eat... hmmm... farming isn't very easy to do when you're always on the move. Well I guess I'd have to forage, hunt and fish. Hmm... OK. That doesn’t sound so bad. But what about ammo? Would I carry a gun? A bow is more sustainable but is much more difficult to kill birds with. Well, a gun sounds necessary. So I’d have to use some of my money to buy ammunitions so I could eat. To be legal I’d have to plan my eating schedule around hunting seasons and my migrations around those as well. This is starting to sound complicated. And I’m still reliant on society…

The next idea would be to try to stay put. But where? In the Adirondacks. That is a tough life. Again I’d have to try to stash food to make it through the winter. Most of my summer months would be spent foraging and trying to hide food somewhere I know I could get at it in the future. And then I’d have to deal with tourists. Bleh. I could eat them I suppose. But then they’d call me a cannibal. I’m pretty sure that is worse than being a hobo. But seriously…

The more realistic plan would be to homestead. That involves owning land, paying taxes and staying put. This then involves more income so you would need to produce excess and try to sell it just to pay the government for the land you ‘own’. It seems like all the rules have been set up to try to prevent people from doing this. But this can be done. Most of those that do still use a lot of modern machinery and transfer a lot of money and that means being reliant on society and contributing to societies problems while not providing any useful contribution. So that seems like a cop-out. Doesn't seem any better than where I started.

So this is where I always end up and it is really hard to go the other way. Look at what has happened to tribes of indigenous peoples. They are forced to assimilate eventually. The system is not set up for this. It is not set up for people to be self sufficient or to live without money or ownership. Or to live in a way that is sustainable to nature. This is the problem.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:35 PM   #58
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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, 08:27 PM   #59
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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, 09:41 PM   #60
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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.

Last edited by Justin; 01-22-2014 at 10:22 PM..
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