Gear selection for Pacific Northwest?

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by AxesAreBetter, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Howdy y'all. Been looking over rough draft on my book, and I have decided that I am going to do a bit of a rewrite on a few parts, and I am wanting some input from some people who have more experience than me in this department. My "lens" for gear selection is naturally colored, and I do not what to improperly equip a character operating in a given area that should more experience with local tooling than I have.

    So, on to the point, is their any particular gear or survival habits that you use that are specific to the Pacific Northwest region? And this being my thread, I would love to hear any counterpoints anyone has to the gear selections mentioned. I am currently working off the Gear List from Canterbury's Bushcraft 101 as reference guide, with some additions for prepping and a firearm set. Be happy to field any questions.
    stg58, Tully Mars and GOG like this.
  2. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    What part of the PNW? West of the Cascades is greatly different from the Eastern side.

    One thing to consider is depending on location you are close to a wide variety of environments: Seal level to 11,000 + feet, wet jungle to arid high desert, etc., all in a 2 hour travel radius by car.
  3. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    RAIN GEAR!!!! I work here (Seattle)2 weeks a month and you will get wet and moldy depending on whether or not you are in the rain shadow of the Olympics or the Cascades.

    Crotch rot cream(antifungle) if you are in the wet for your crotch and feet.

    Gators and goretex boots to help keep the feet from rotting if you are in the wet

    Now if your in western WA in the Cascades Rain Shadow the totally different.
    stg58, Yard Dart, kellory and 3 others like this.
  4. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Lower western cascades, primarily, but I do have some traveling planned, so if you have selections for both sides, that would be SUPER!
  5. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I second the above for parts West of the Cascades. Starting a fire can be very challenging. I tend to look for dried pine needles at the tree base for tinder as well as downed trees for something "pitchy".
    stg58, Yard Dart and AD1 like this.
  6. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Perfect - now what time of the year? (the questions never end...)
    AD1 likes this.
  7. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    I have a set of these
    Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaiters -
    With a good Gortex boot and these on i can "quiclky" run through a stream and keep my feet dry.

    Add to that a set of "full zip rain pants'. You can take them off/on with your boots on. Cheap ones that dont breath are OK but you can sweat like crazy in them depending on the activity. Breathable/Gortex if you can afford them.

    REI – Top-Brand Clothing, Gear, Footwear and Expert Advice for All Your Outdoor Adventures -

    BTW if you dont have a membership to REI get one now.
  8. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Turning into fall, on into early winter. Also, to be clear, I do Eastern Woodlands hunting and is it done in that neck of the woods? I have been informed that salmon is a thing? (I'm not completely uninformed, but I don;t want to mess up the responses by cluttering up what I do and don;t understand)
  9. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    See, already a leg up.
  10. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Only place I Have been to where you have to start a fire to dry your wood before you can start a fire
    Kamchuka, Yard Dart and 3M-TA3 like this.
  11. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    The environment will be wet and cold - cold that goes all the way to your bones. If it isn't raining it will be snowing. The sky will be overcast, and days will be short due to the steep windy terrain. The soil is clay, and If you aren't slipping in mud you will be slipping on wet pine needles. Your boot treads will be clogged with clay and pine needles. The only thing that keeps you from sliding around in the hills like you are on ice is all the undergrowth like Himalayan blackberry and poison oak. Rivers are steep and fast. The coastal mountains crash into the ocean. It's a dramatic, dangerous, and beautiful place. Oh, and watch out for booby traps left over from marijauna operations that were harvested last summer...

    Yes, there are salmon runs - you will want to investigate by river system for species and timing. Might be fun to have them spear some going up a small waterfall (rivers are basically a series of waterfalls...)
    AD1 and AxesAreBetter like this.
  12. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    When I grew up there we always carried cedar bark and pitch pockets from pine in our saddle bags. As @AD1 said, gaiters are a must on the coastie side and on the eastern side especially during fall/winter.
    3M-TA3, AD1 and AxesAreBetter like this.
  13. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Any other bushcraft or hunting gear that is specifically recommended? Any tips on camp placement or anything of that sort?
  14. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Deer will be be smallish black tail (mule deer on the higher drier east side of the Cascades), elk will be Roosevelt (largest species in North America), bear will be a fairly small black bear (once thought I saw a large dog near the coast, but it was a bear). .308 most common round in Oregon and adequate for anything you will see in that area. We used to see 30-30 Winchesters in the rear window of every truck 30 years ago, but almost everyone seems to have a bolt action today. A Savage 99 in 308 used to be the bomb as well. Honestly I was never much of a hunter, but my oldest brother hunted the coast range and would just sit on a stump with a thermos of coffee and get his deer or elk in the first few days. Dad always had us kids thrash though the trees trying to drive them like he did in Montana, but we rarely got anything that way.

    Because of the jungle of underbrush expect to see some pretty defined game trails, so your characters could take advantage of that.

    Back on geography a bit - the state is split N to S by the Cascades, a volcanic range. From the cascades, as you move towards the ocean you will run into the Coastal Range, which are true mountains made up of old seabed scraped up as the ocean subducts on the continent. The Willamette (wil-lam-et, not wil-am-etty) River runs S to N between them, so the highest part if the valley is to the south. There is strangely an area on the coast that is warmer and milder than the surrounding areas - Gold Beach?

    Forgot to mention that I have seen snow on the Oregon Coast. It's not common, but it does happen.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  15. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I was up there a few years back tromping around in the woods, the forrester took me into an 'old growth' cedar forest. Full raingear!

    Anyway, he had a big walking stick and kept pounding the ground with it and stabbing out ahead of him. (I grew up in arid region, so what do I know, nothing) so I asked him, what are you doing? He said, checking for solid ground to walk on..huh? it looked solid to me. turns out we were 5-6 foot above the forrest floor and you can fall thru in places.

    this forrest had ferns growing like it was on the ground. Strangest forest experience of my life. we were chaining and checking some timber measurements. The Forrester would move around a tree and virtually disappear. Until that trip I never did understand how you could get lost in the woods, but after that I did understand how that is possible.
    Meat, Yard Dart, Tully Mars and 3 others like this.
  16. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Well, we have webbed feet, Moss for hair and monthly we have to scrape the barnacles off our hide, on the Seattle side of the mountains.

    A lot of experienced folks up here profess nothing but Gortex gear, myself included, you never know when it might rain or even a light drizzle for the whole day. Hypothermia is the number one issue up here in the late fall to spring time frame. Snow down to 500 feet in the winter is common. Higher elevations, you need to watch for tree wells in the deep snow...they kill folks every winter. Snow shelter knowledge is important. Water is everywhere so dehydration is not likely if you pay attention to intake at intervals. Marshes, blackberry vines and fast water are significant cross country issues. As well as very steep terrain in the mountains. In the forest, a compass is essential...navigating by terrain can be difficult due to heavy vegetation. Fog can be really bad in the winter months. The water is always cold preventing water crossings for the faint of heart. In the spring the rivers and streams run very fast from snow melt....ain't gonna cross unless a very shallow spot, but still dangerous. Finally, we can swing from 45 at night to 90 the next day.
    Tully Mars, Ganado, AD1 and 1 other person like this.
  17. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    So, a lot like home with faster water, huh? I reckon I got a handle on it. Appreciate the input. Are hammocks a thing up there? Or do y'all have some other ploy for staying high and dry?
  18. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I like hammocks....keeps you off the wet ground for sure. I have a small one that rolls up to the size of maybe a baseball.... packs easy and I just throw it in an outside ruck pocket for quick use. Pitch a poncho above for rain cover and nap time.......

    Bungie cords make for quick cover with a poncho..... 550 cord is fine if you have quick knot's, but I prefer a bungie because it keeps a constant tension on what it is holding.
    kellory likes this.
  19. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Packs with rain covers.

    Tents with rain fly and vestibule and ground cloth fpr the tent and vesty
    3M-TA3 and Ganado like this.
  20. Meat

    Meat Monkey+++

    I always have 2 sets of raingear. One is dry or drying. I swap out hoodies frequently and wear rubber gloves. I can hold our pretty well for long periods like this. :D
    3M-TA3 and Ganado like this.
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