Seshins

A Survivors Daily journal - 192 Days in (Camping, Aurora and Wolves)

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Day 142 - Morning

I woke in the morning and lay in bed for a time, listening to the wind howl outside. There's nothing like being in bed, nice and warm with atrocious weather outside - even when i am surrounded by solitude and desolation.

I pushed on around mid-day towards the Dam, and once arriving set to work breaking down all the crates i could see. I figured if my haul from my last expedition was the sum total of 5 rifle rounds, i would load my backpack to the brim with reclaimed wood. I ahead of myself, by the time i finished it was dark so i laid my sleeping bag inside the dam and went to sleep.

 

Day 143 - Mid-Morning

I pushed out with the whispers of a snow storm in the air - but the weather held.....until i got to PV and it welcomed with with a cold fist to the face.

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Luckily i've navigated this route a number of times, so i was confident i could find my way home. The blizzard turned against me and i struggled my way through - hungry and overloaded with wood. In my stubbornness i didn't want to drop the load and come back (that would've been the smart thing to do) so i struggled on. As dusk fell the temperature dropped sharply - by this stage i was still only 2/3rds of the way home. I realised that my hubris may in fact get the best of me - it's been a long while since i've been caught out in a blizzard that was savage enough to cut through my clothing.

As i emerged from the draw into the farmstead area, the weather dropped into a light snow and then cleared. When i got back to the property i dropped the lamp on the porch to take stock.

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After dropping the wood in my pack and having a steak or 3 i turned in for the night. Content that i was home, full and safe.

 

Day 144 - Morning

Today was a day of water. Lots of water. I melted down around 20 litres of snow, boiled it and through it in the freezer section of the fridge. I'll only use this when i need to restock or drink quickly, otherwise i'll boil water as i go. I also went out and trimmed up a large number of cedar logs, with a smaller number of fir logs (38 and 6 respectively) which i added to my main wood pile on the front porch. More steak and off to bed.

 

Day 145 - Afternoon

Today was a day of wood - lots of wood. I went out and trimmed up a large number of cedar logs, with a smaller number of fir logs (38 and 6 respectively) which i added to my main wood pile on the front porch. More steak and off to bed.

 

Day 146 - Morning

Today was the day of the hunt for a moose. The weather was good so i stepped off towards the clearing to the east of the barn.

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I had decided to setup camp around the frozen pond - this was to save time moving from the area into a sleeping zone each day. Once i found my old campsite from my previous moose hunting trip, i built up my snow shelter, collected some wood and harvested a few rabbits to feed me over the next few days.

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Day 146 - Morning

I woke to a blizzard. Not much for it so i stayed put in the shelter, skinning and gutting the two rabbits i killed the day before.

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Once the storm cleared i stepped out into the clearing and decided to scout around the area. As i was making my way down to the frozen river i saw....MOOSE!!!!!!! oh no wait it's just a deer. Damn it.

I continued on scouting out the area, i did manage to find more moose sign (tree rubbings)

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I didn't locate a moose, but did have a slight run in with a bear. He was in the birch forest and surprised me from only 20 metres away. He snuffled and moaned, so i back away slowly - always with the rifle aimed at his skull. He soon lost interest and ambled away back into the birch forest.

I made my way back to the snow shelter and settled in for the night, however i'm a bit nervous knowing the bear is out there in the area. Hopefully he's wary of me or if a storm blows in will hunker down. I'll sleep with the rifle close tonight.

Day 147 - Morning

I woke up. That's a good sign - no bear tracks around the snow shelter so maybe hes pushed on. But also no moose. I scouted around the area again, but alas only more deer-that-looks-like-moose-from-a-distance type animals.

I decided to break camp and head back to the farm stead. I could stay out for another few days, an in Murphy's law the first morning i'm not here the moose will show up - but that's life.

I think the bearskin is nearly cured so i'll turn it and the other bearskin i have into a bedroll.

I know there is a moose around the trappers cabin in ML - i could mission back that way and setup camp in the cabin for a few days. I'm mainly after his skin, but being such large prey animals he will have a ton of nutritious meat on him which i don't want to waste. Shuttling the meat back to the farm is an option but would be a big job - i'll consider this option and make a decision in the next few days.

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Day 148 - Morning

After reorganising (i.e. eating) a good portion of my outdoor larder, i stored the remainder of the bear meat in the container on the porch and decided to push out to ML to hunt this moose.

After getting a few hundred metres away from the farmstead something stopped me - this was going to be a serious undertaking. i was reasonably confident of finding a moose in ML, having seen one around the Trappers Cabin a few times, but ferrying all that meat was going to take time and some patience. Patience isn't my strong suit.

I decided to head back towards the birch forest East of the barn. There was multiple sign of moose there so i decided to give it one more go.

I made my way out to the forest, but alas didn't find anything apart from some deer and the ubiquitous rabbit. I didn't want to kill them at this stage because A. I don't need to and B. they aren't on my radar at the moment.

I returned to the Barn to lay up for the night.

 

Day 149 - Morning

I set out again in the morning to continue my search. I had left some of my heavier clothing back at the farmstead as i want to move quickly and be able to carry more meat on the chance i knock over a moose - this is a risk but that's life.

After meandering around the frozen pond and birch forest i again didn't see moose - but i did see a bear in the distance, perhaps 200 metres way. I wouldn't mind an extra bearskin to mend the bearskin bedroll i'll be crafting, and decided to test my long range shooting. I have 8 rounds in the rifle and 110 back home so i can afford this luxury.

I lined him up and got a shot away - i heard the "wump" of the round hitting him and saw the spray of blood, however he didn't go down. I let a second round off and he dropped flat. 200 Metres (give or take! that small lump above the front sight post is him dead)

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As i approached him the weather began to turn so i quartered him up and pushed back to the barn to harvest the meat and settle in for the night.

 

Day 150 - Morning

Once i woke i set out for the kill to bring in the rest of the meat. As i was traversing the short distance to the kill the weather turned on a dime, and it was savage. The lighter clothing i was wearing became a serious liability and i felt hypothermia setting in at an alarming rate.

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Once i was back at the barn i started to cook the meat while the hide started to cure. Previously when i was here i had torn down a number of the crates littering the barn, so i had a reasonable supply of wood to cook meat and warm up. I worked through into the night but got all the bear cooked up.

It was at this point that i noticed the poor condition of my hatchet, and to a lesser extent my knife. This isn't a problem at this stage however as it fits into my new tool strategy of saving the whetstones for my final hatchet / knife combo before i move onto the crafted tools.

 

Day 151 - Morning

As i was weighing up the options of ferrying this meat back, i  decided to set out on one more patrol. Taking the moose at this point would potentially be a waste, despite the long duration cooked meat stays safe to eat when kept outdoors, however i figured i was already out here so might as well.

I pushed on through the birch forest but saw nothing, so continued on towards the frozen pond again. As i was climbing one of the large rock outcrops for an elevated view of the area i saw him - MOOSE!

He was eating cattails along the frozen pond, minding his own business. Whether he had winded me yet i don't know, but i lined him up in my sights.

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I got two rounds into him before he fell - FINALLY!!!! I approached his carcass warily, in case he wasn't dead and lashed out but he had breathed his last. I took stock - this is what hunting is all about.  Many days and much effort spent on fruitless endeavors, and then finding success on a whim.

I started to harvest him but a cruel blizzard rolled in after an hour and forced me to retreat to the barn. I had expended all the wood i had on hand cooking the bear so now found myself in a bind - i couldn't cook all the meat with the wood i had left so i cooked a portion and stored the rest outside as night fell.

I went to bed satisfied in my efforts paying off and my calorie needs being secure for at least the next month.

 

Day 152 - Morning

I woke to a fine sunrise and decided to take my current haul (including bearskin and moose hide) back to the farmstead before coming back for the final haul.

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After getting home and having a drink, i swung by the snow shelter to make sure it was still standing - it was but needed some slight repairs so i got them completed before heading East to the carcass again.

As i was crossing the bale field a small murder of crows flew over head, signalling a potential shift in the weather.

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I was nervous as the majority of the carcass still needed to be harvested and would surely be frozen, but i was committed so pushed on. When i got to the carcass it was frozen solid so i lit a small fire to thaw most of it out.

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After an hour or so i had successfully harvested all the edible meat from the carcass so pushed on back to the farmstead. Once i got home i lay out the cooked and uncooked moose meat for a mini stock-take. Now that i'm home i'll cooked the remaining meat and start the hide curing process - i've decided to make an extra pack back or satchel to carry more items. This haul doesn't include the 15kgs of cooked meat already stored on the porch, and the additional 20+ kgs of fresh cooked bear back at the barn. I'd say my food situation is good for at least 2 months now.

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I've noticed as i was crossing the bale field that i haven't seen any wolves in this neck of the wood in a number of weeks. This is curious. Now that my food supply is firm for the time being, i may devote some time to studying the deer herds (they've bounced back with the lack of hunting pressure) and also scout out the local wolf population.

 I don't particularly want the wolves around, but i am concerned about their population and what is happening to them - after all they are a fundamental cog in the food chain in the wild.

I may also do some observation, either here or in ML to confirm why i haven't seen any aurora as of late. There is also gear and clothing maintenance to attend to after the last week or two and the savage blizzards i've been experiencing.

Edited by Seshins
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Very good read... I have a similar thread that I started several months ago but real life got busy and it fell to the wayside... Maybe ill have to start updating it again... Its titled "Embers in the Wind" if you are interested.

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I’ll give it a read - should definitely get back into it if you can, I’m keen to have a decent thread to read!

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Day 153 - Mid-day

I slept in this morning and got up well rested. My plan for today is to repair some kit and finish cooking that moose meat.

After a few hours behind the stove i had my outdoor larder stocked with freshly cooked moose, enough for a few weeks (or longer if i rationed it but i'm not at that stage yet!)

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The container on my porch is now only half full of bear, as soon as its empty i'll start moving this meat into it. I also repaired my wolfskin coat and deerskin boots - the remainder of my clothing is in fairly good repair so i'll wait out on those repairs.

I started to feel a bit stir-crazy after cooking this moose so i set out for my snow shelter for the night.

 

Day 153 - Morning

I slept in starts through-out the night - i wanted to see if the Aurora would show itself but alas no luck. I started to collect some firewood to replenish the supply i've been slowly draining over the last few days.

Once i got the wood sorted i fixed up the snow shelter and left some wood there for future stays.

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Once i got back to the farmstead i dove straight into making my bearskin bedroll. I worked into the night but emerged victorious - the old bedroll was torn up for cloth (i still have a decent spare in the downstairs closet) but this will be my main sleeping item when i'm away or not next to a bed.

 

Day 154 - Afternoon

After getting ready i set out to observe the local wild life. To the east i saw a decent herd of deer - it seems they've bounced back from my last massacre. They should be find for the next few weeks as i go through the moose and bear meat i've harvested, i'm considering switching to rabbit for a time to break up the monotony, plus they seem to bounce back even faster.

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I turned around and headed west into the orchard and lo and behold i saw a pack of wolves! This pleases me. I hadn't seen them in the area for quite some time so was concerned something had happened to the pack. I haven't shot one in the area for quite some time, so i'm glad they are back (and not - after all they do want to eat me - this is an interesting moral conflict)

(there is actually 5 of them in this pic but some are behind tree's)

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A less pleasant surprise is a bear - one has moved back into the farm property. It hasn't been long since my last bow hunt of the previous bear so i wonder what has brought this one in. I suspect the lack of a previous tenant and the smell of meat that's been in the area.

I'm going to tolerate him for now - shooting him would just be an awful waste of meat, so for now he's safe. I'll stay out of his way as best as possible.

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Day 155 - Morning

Well what do you know. I've been living here for a good few months now. I decided to have a scout around with the lantern and managed to locate another sewing kit (score) and 2 more rifle rounds (double score)

I just haven't noticed them, and obviously my initial scout was poor (to be fair i think i was hypothermia, starving and terrified when i first arrived) so that's a bonus.

My plan for today is collect some wood, craft some torches for emergency's and wait on this moose hide to cure so i can make my satchel.

Edited by Seshins
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Day 156 - Lunch

Nothing much to report to today. I spent the day tidying up the house, sorting gear, taking stock and crafting. I made up a few torches and some hooks out of some scrap metal i had laying around the house. I think when these sewing kits run out, hooks and line will be my only way to repair clothing.

 

Day 157 - Evening

Today was another marking time day. I'm waiting out on the moose hide to cure so i can craft this satchel. I did spend the night camping in the hope of catching the Aurora again but alas, no luck. It's been at least 6 weeks since i last saw it so i'm not sure what that means. Moose meat for dinner and slept in my nice new bearskin roll.

 

Day 158 - Morning

Today the moose hide was about cured. I took it down to the workshop and spent the day crafting. Doesnt look too bad if i say so myself.

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Day 159 - Mid-Day

As of late i've been fighting boredom so i decided to head off to CH to have a poke around. I stocked up on moose meat, checked my rifle and tools and set off.

PV was kind to me - the day was good which made going easy.

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After passing through the crossroads town i found the turn off to the mine and made my way up. It appeared i left in the nick of time. As i turned around or a last look at the valley the weather was rolling in.

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I arrived in CH and set up for the night in the trailer just down the trail.

 

Day 160 - Morning

I set out along the trail and stumbled across 2 cabins i was previously unaware of. Pickings were slim however, just some jerky and a single rifle round.

I pushed on and crossed a frozen stream before coming across a small cabin. There was a hatchet outside and some jerky inside but not much else. I pushed on further down the stream and found an abandoned camp ground in poor repair. There were bear tracks in the area so i was wary, but there was nothing worth salvaging here.

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As i was leaving the area i saw a cabin in the distance. I started making my way there. Halfway there i realised at the last second i had just crossed a set of fresh bear tracks. Looking left, there he was. He roared a challenge at me, and after a heart stopping moment i bolted for the cabin. I arrived just in time - i spent the night facing the door, with the rifle in my lap before falling asleep.

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Day 161 - Morning

After awaking in the morning i listened but couldn't hear anything outside. I had a quick breakfast and stayed put for a few hours - listening for the sound of a heavy animal skulking around, leaning on the door, snow crunching etc but heard nothing.

I made my way down to the road and crossed onto the ice. As i was heading the island commonly known as Jack Rabbit Island, i spied a fishing hut at the edge of the ice pack. My memory failed me but i couldn't recall checking that hut out. When i got there, sure enough my suspicion was confirmed. I found a couple of food items, a rifle round and a box of ammunition on the shelf. This now leaves me 110 rounds at home, 10 rounds in the rifle and 2 in my pack - enough to hunt for a long time just using the rifle.

As the sun was setting i made my way up the island to the house nestled at the top. I took a moment to look out over the ocean to contemplate the vista before me.

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Was there anyone on those islands in the distance? Could i get there? What was happening over there. I felt so alone, but also exhilarated. Its funny what the mind will do to you.

After coming back to reality, i went into the house and set in for the night. There were some odds and ends i had missed here the last time, some food and coffee and a box of matches. Maybe the Aurora will come tonight?

 

Day 162 - Mid-day

I'm writing this at Mid-Day because a terrible blizzard is howling outside. There isn't much for it but to hurry up and wait. I have ample food and water so have no concerns. I think i'll just do something i haven't done in a long while - relax.

 

Day 163 - Morning

The blizzard ended sometime last night. I emerged from the house to calm weather but snow and a light fog. I took off over the ice towards the log sort, hoping i'd missed something there last time.

Alas there was nothing of any value. I set off across the ice, hugging the coast towards the township.

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As i approached the town i slowed down and took my time. The place is usually infested with wolves and bear, so proceeded cautiously.

I found a few odds and ends in the first few houses before raiding the well worn Quonset gas station. I didn't find anything there that i needed - most everything i had left i had left for a reason. On the bottom shelf of some shelving units in the garage i did find an item i've long coveted - another whetstone! This will extend my tool life a few weeks in the future so this is a boon to me - almost as precious as rifle ammo.

After leaving the gas station i jumped into one of the abandoned cars there - i was rummaging when i heard it. A soft pitter-patter of paws and a low growl. Turning around i saw the wolf - he was obviously keen for a bite as he patrolled around the car.

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After a few minutes of not being able to work out how to get to the meat inside the box, he lost interest and moved on. I made sure to give him enough time before jumping out of the car and jogging to the last house.

This was another place i'd been reasonably thorough - there was nothing worth taking or eating. By now it was late in the day so i went upstairs and jumped into bed.

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Day 164 - Mid-Day

I woke to a blizzard outside so lay in bed for an hour or two until it sounded like it was easing. When i left the house the blizzard had cleared up leaving an overcast sky and a stiff breeze. I decided then to leave CH and head home. It was taking some time and i recall clearing out the other property's in the area rather thoroughly. I made my way up into the high country to make for the mine.

As i was traversing the trail, a wolf popped up from behind a snow bank not 20 metres away. Instinctively i shouldered the rifle at the same moment he charged. I shot him full in the chest and put him down.

Sadly i couldn't afford the time or backpack space to harvest him so left him for the crows or other wildlife. I emerged from the mine a while later and made my way home.

 

Day 165 - Morning

I decided to push on up to TWM to scavenge the remaining supplies i'd left up there. I wasn't sure what the pickings were like since it had been a while since my last trip there.

I dropped my hatchet and rifle and decided on the bow. I also packed a hacksaw - i'm sure there were a couple left up there but i didn't want to attack the mountain only to be found wanting in the tools department.

I set out in snowy but otherwise calm conditions.

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After the usual hike i made my way up to the rope and climbed up. I made sure to pick up as much easy firewood on my way as possible - i'm sure i'd left the cabin in a poor supply situation.

I got to the cabin at dusk and lit a fire. I'd packed 8 kilos of moose meat to see my through this expedition.

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Day 166 - Dawn

After getting a good night sleep next to a well lit fire i started my attack. Going was tough but i made my way past the first few ropes before exhaustion started to take hold. I managed this by taking a few sleeps along the way in my nice toasty bearskin bedroll before getting to the last rope before the summit.

At this point i was absolutely shattered so i setup in a cave for the night and went to bed.

 

Day 167 - Dawn

Summit day. After waking early i climbed the last rope up to the tail section. As i had feared, most everything left was ruined or i didn't need. I found a few packs of matches, some food still in good condition and the expedition parka i'd left up here last time.

Time was on my side so after a final double check i made my way down from the summit for the last time. There's no need for me to come back here again with the whole area having been scavenged.

I meandered my way down the mountain, but got trapped for a time by a roving pack of wolves. I hid behind a small outcrop of rock until they had passed.

After getting back to the cabin i collected some firewood for another night before making my way back down to the valley. Moose meat and soda for dinner then off to bed.

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Day 168 - Morning

A blizzard set in during the night but eased off before first light. I collected  the few remaining tools and odds and ends i wanted to bring down with me, took a final wistful look at the shabby but robust cabin that had kept me alive whenever i was up here and made my way towards the fixed rope.

I arrived at the fixed rope and took in the view. The morning sunrise and overcast sky cast a beautiful vista over my (brutal) home valley. I took a long look and made my way back down to the valley.

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My trip was uneventful - the area having been well covered over the last half year. I was surprised to see a large pack of wolves in the bale field - i worry they may thin the deer herd that usually kicks around this area.

I'm down to my last few days of moose meat so a hunt will be on the agenda in the immediate future. I haven't decided but i think deer will be on the cards.

I got home and used the hacksaws i'd brought back from the mountain to cut up the useless shelving in the basement - i'll use this metal for hooks or tools in the future.

My plan for the next few days is to repair clothing (the mountain can be brutal on clothing) and plan my hunt.

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I’ve been a few times now but if familiarity breeds complacency. 

The mountain can be savage if you don’t plan ahead. 

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Got any tips, just in general? I've been playing a week and think I have things mostly down, but I'm super anxious that I'm doing something crazy inefficient that's gonna make my life hell in the later stages when all the loot's used up. Anything I should be saving? What's the best way to store food? And, my most pressing question, what can and what can't I kill with a bow?

Also, where's a forge?

 

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Interesting that your and my current survivors were both on TWM at "age" 165. (Mine still is.) Big difference, though: Yours has been everywhere! My guy has lingered in CH, ML, PV, and (now) TWM. When he finally gets to the other regions, he'll probably find a lot of the spoils have spoiled. But he'll survive.

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I've been up there a couple of times now - but my strategy was always run around to all the regions like a mad-man in the first few months to horde everything at the PVFS then just live out of there.

I still go on the odd expedition though because i invariably miss itmes, and to combat the long-term boredom.

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Day 169 - Morning

First thing this morning i woke up to a beautiful but cold sunrise with gales blowing.

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i went out to my Cabin Fever Retreat (snow shelter on a low hill) to fix up after my time away in TWM. Thankfully it only needed moderate repairs. Once the repair was done i took to the task of hunting.

I had decided to take a few deer, however after scouting the immediate area i couldn't locate any. Curious. I wonder if they have migrated out of the region, or just further into the interior. If they don't show up in the next few days this may warrant investigation.

I started to make my way back to the farmstead and ran smack into an old bear.

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He started towards me menacingly so i took no chances and loose an arrow into him. I saw the arrow strike him true and he took off. As soon as he turned tail i saw the smashed arrow fall out of his thick hide.

Investigating the impact site i saw a decent blood patch - this indicates a critical organ hit, hopefully he doesn't go too far.

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I set off in the direction he went but he was bolting like the wind - i decided to loop around to see if i could cut him off.

After crossing the frozen creek, i came back around the bridge - sure enough i spotted his tracks and started tracking him. He hadn't gotten far though - he had collapsed and expired on the edge of the creek.

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i quartered him up and took the meat, pelt and gut back to the farmhouse to process.

I cooked into the night but by early morning the meat was cooked ready for preserving with the hide on the front porch, along with the gut. Moose meat (from my dwindling supply) for dinner then off to bed.

 

Day 170 - Morning

I woke to a nice calm morning and went out to tidy up my outdoor larder.

After half and hours work i had the meat organised - 1kg pieces on the right, smaller cuts on the left. When the moose meat runs out from my porch cache i'll move some of the bear meat inside.

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Once this was done i went inside and cut up some furniture that i never use - it's good to keep some reclaimed wood inside for emergencys.

Now that i'm sorted for the next week or two for food, i've started to think about heading up into the high-country for a 5 day camping trip. This should help break up the monotony of my current routine while adding some zest. Living off the land, living in a shelter - back to dealing with life day to day for a time. Its risky but i'll probably die of cabin fever or boredom before i run out of the ability to support myself.

I'll start planning the trip and packing.

 

Day 171 - Dawn

I slept well for the night and decided to get a move on early - the weather had other ideas though. When i woke a strong gale with snow was blowing in across the valley so i hunkered down to wait for a weather window. An hour or so later just after first light the wind died down leaving moderate snow falling with the valley socked in with mist.

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I stopped by the snow shelter to fix it up as i'd be away for a few days. Once i was satisfied that it was in good repair i started my trek west.

After a few hours i came over a small rise into the basin that held the Three Strikes Farmstead - this is the area i'd setup camp. I located a small area a ways behind the farmstead and built my snow shelter.

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By now the weather was turning again so i hunkered down for the rest of the day. Sure enough the gales and snow turned into a full blown blizzard so i called it a day and went to sleep.

 

Day 172 - Afternoon

I got up early this morning and decided to hunt. Pickings were slim initially but after a few hours a couple of deer wandered into the area. I stalked a buck that was busy feeding through the snow - missed. The arrow landed just behind him and he took off. I waited patiently for him to calm down and when he was sure the area was clear he resumed feeding.

This time my arrow struck him in the heart and he dropped - looks like my meat supply is sorted. I also came across a young rabbit who blissfully but foolishly crossed my path.

Once i had them butchered a got a campfire going and cooked the meat supply.

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I finished cooking in the nick of time - the weather started to turn so i quickly set to boiling some water. Just as the last litre of melted snow finished boiling the wind snuffed out my fire.

I snuggled into the snow shelter and had a good feed of venison and water however while i was eating a could hear a pack of wolves in the middle distance howling to each other. Being so far away from home with a deer's worth of meet outside my temporary front porch makes me nervous, but there isn't anything for it.

During the night i woke to a very calm night. I stoked the fire and sat outside the snow shelter to take in the stillness and the stars.

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Day 173 - Morning

I woke to a clear and calm morning. I've noticed as of late the weather seems to be deteriorating more regularly. I wonder if this is a trend or just a blip. If its the former that will change things - the blizzards are becoming more frequent and more savage.

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With good weather i decided to break for home. I was nervous the snow shelter i use near the farmstead (the Cabin Fever Retreat) would be worse for wear and didn't want a collapsed shelter on my hands. Next time i go camping i'll tear the shelter down before i go - that way it won't be on my mind the whole time.

I got back to the farmstead and checked on the shelter - it had taken a bit of a beating the last few days but was salvageable. I fixed it up and then walked the short distance back to the farm. It looks like i made it just in time as another blizzard is rolling in.

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I've got food for weeks now. I think my next focus will finally getting around to crafting all the arrows i can, bows etc. After that i may head up to the frozen lake for a fishing trip.

 

Edited by Seshins

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Nice shot! The only time I shot a bear with an arrow and actually got it to retreat, I never found the carcass. (I only know it died by looking at my stats. I assume it took hours and hours to bleed out.)

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Day 174 - Morning

I woke up with crafting in mind. I took all the hooks, prepared lines i had outside to sit in the reasonably good weather to craft.

Once that was done i took the 11 or so arrowheads, 11 shafts and 33 crow feathers down into the basement to craft up some new arrows. I still have 7 spare arrow shafts, 7 cured birch saplings and 5 cure maple saplings so my bow and arrow requirements are sorted for a long while yet. Not counting my two rifles (my main rifle still has 9 rounds loaded) with an additional 113 rounds in storage.

Crafting took all day so i retired late in the evening.

 

Day 175 - Morning

I woke again intent to finish crafting my arrows. By early afternoon this task was done. Suddenly i found myself.....with nothing to do. Sure i could craft the rest of the arrows, craft arrow shafts, craft bows etc but i don't need too so i decided i wont. I have meat for days.

After thinking on this for a while i've decided to revise my hunting strategy again. No longer will i take bear (only in self defence) and i will limit my hunting to proper day/night hunting trips for deer as i need them. I feel this will give me a task to do every few days, it will include a trip or mini expedition and will also require me to keep an eye on the deer population in the area.

Harvesting multiple deer, or a bear may provide me food for a week or more, but it eliminates the adventure aspect of surviving.

I decided to spend the next few nights in the Cabin Fever Retreat for two reasons. I'm still waiting for the now elusive, if not mythical Aurora, and to stave off cabin  fever.

I spent the evening on the slope watching a beautiful sunset.

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Day 176 - Late Morning

I woke late and set off to collect some wood and sticks. The shelter was starting to look a bit worse for wear so that required attention.

Once the shelter was repaired i spent the rest of the day relaxing / being bored in the shelter itself, just thinking. Should i go on another camping trip? This time in Mystery Lake, or perhaps over to the Forlorn Muskeg? I'm tempted to head back to the Broken Railroad to see if i had missed anything of value. The muskeg could also be a test, camping out for a week or two in a shelter, surviving on nothing but what i've learned. Something to consider.

Before i knew it evening was upon me again, so i laid up in my nice toasty bearskin bedroll and went to bed.

 

Day 177 - Morning

After a reasonable night sleep i woke up and wandered back over to the Farmstead. Once inside i checked over all my supplys and started to formulate a plan for this camping trip. I think i'll go when the bear meat runs out - i'll hunt for food on my expedition and then go for a hunt when (or if) i return to the valley alive.

I can also go out and search for cloth / metal, but i'll save that for another time. I still have a reasonable supply of cloth (100+) and have no need on metal at this stage. I have a few wolf pelts, deer skins and bear skins left so i can repair my game leather clothing and equipment. My moose hide satchel is starting to slowly show signs of wear - how long did it take me to finally craft that? I'll need to keep an eye on it and maybe plan a moose hunt when it shows signs of serious wear.

I wandered back up to the Retreat and went to sleep.

 

Day 178 - Midnight

I was dozing throughout the night with a beautiful star lit sky when i saw it..... THE AURORA!!!!

I sat outside the shelter and stared in wonder. I don't know why i'm so excited to see it again.

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The weather has been so bad the last few months it was no wonder i haven't seen it - the odd nights that were clear and calm where obviously just off nights.

After staring at the Aurora for an hour i decided to sleep inside for the night. I went back inside and crashed out, the the bedside lamp shining on one of my (well read) outdoor books.

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You'll take no bear. But what about the hides you'll need to repair your bearskin bedroll? I am dismayed at how quickly it decays - and that's not only condition, it's also bed warmth bonus.

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I’ve got a few bear hides left, along with a 100% standard bedroll. 

Obviously hunting the bear for hide will still be necessary, but not in the near future. 

But agreed the decay rate on the bearskin bedroll is savage!

Edited by Seshins

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Day 178 - Morning

I woke up after a short sleep following last night / this mornings elation at the Aurora returning. Thinking back it seems somewhat surreal. I decided to head out for one final exploration trip of this region. I knew there were still caves and areas i hadn't ventured, particularly up into the back country.

I set off heading West, swinging my way up past the pond and fishing hut. Sure enough there were a few caves in the area, along with a maple sapling which i harvested.

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The caves were spartan, aside from a bedroll which i quickly harvested.

I continued to make my way around the area, and after cresting a small rise i was sprung by a wolf. I had my bow out and as soon as i drew back he charged. I got the arrow into his chest as he lunged and a short struggle ensued, however he bolted yelping into the forest.

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I tracked his blood trail for an hour or so - i wasn't interested in harvesting him for meat but if he was still alive with that arrow in him i wanted to put him out of his misery.

As the weather started to turn i found him, lying up under a tree - dead.

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I harvested his pelt so his sacrifice wouldn't go to waste and made my way back to the cross roads town to set in for the night.

 

Day 179 - Morning

I set out at first light and made my way up the road. I found an abandoned car which had.....a chocolate bar. I could add this to my packaged food stash in the farmhouse.

i started to make my way north off the road and found some derelict cabins which i set up in for a few hours, around a warm campfire. The weather was clear but a gale was blowing, cutting through my furs and expedition clothing.

I found another few caves, however there was no items worth salvaging, aside from some rusty cans of soda.

As i approached the edge of a cliff, the weather started to pack in again.

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At this point it was getting late in the day so i started to make my way back. I found my way down to the river and crossed into the birch forest - by this stage the weather had really started to turn.

Like a ghost in the mist i spotted the bear.

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I couldn't risk a confrontation - i only had the bow (which is showing some serious signs of wear) with no rifle or flare gun so i gave him a wide berth.

By the time i emerged out of the birch forest a full blown blizzard was in effect - shit.

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Out of the gloom one of the small barns emerged. I ducked inside quickly and started to warm myself up. By now it was dark so i a lit a fire out of the sticks i tend to pick up for just this situation. After a few minutes i had a roaring campfire - which the wind snuffed out in a matter of minutes.

I hugged the dying flames - trying to eek out as much warmth into my freezing body before the flames sputtered out and died completely.

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Sure enough the flames died and i was plunged back into darkness, with a blizzard howling on the other side of the flimsy wooden walls separating me from the wind.

I weighed up my options - stay put and hope for a break in the weather and a clear night sky to navigate home by - dive out into the blizzard and hope i come across some suitable landmarks i could navigate with or curl up in my bearskin bedroll and pray i survive the night.

I chose the middle option - with the last ember fading i flew out into the long dark night. After stumbling around for what seemed hours i came across a snow blown trail in the fields - from memory this meandered in the general direction of the farmstead.

I cut across the road and started to head in the direction i hoped was home. After a few minutes i was aware of a low growl, soon joined by another one as i was stalked by wolves in the dark. I lit the roadside flare i always carry and spun around - sure enough just outside the circle of light two black phantoms were stalking me. With my panic levels rising and my skin crawling i turned around and put my head down as i soldiered on - by now i was exhausted so could only hope i would find my way home.

As the flare started to die i came across a familiar rise in the ground - the frozen creek to the west of the farm! With relief and joy flooding my veins i crawled into the farmstead, somehow i made it home. I stripped off my frozen clothing and dived into bed. What a trip.

Edited by Seshins
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Day 180 - Afternoon

After the close call last night i slept in for a good portion of the day. Once i woke i wandered out to the snow shelter for my now routine maintenance check.

After finishing that chore i gathered up some sticks and cedar and put them outside of the shelter - i'll probably need to tear this down when i go on my camping trip, i'm leaning towards Forlorn Muskeg. Once i've set up there i'll make my way out to the Broken Railroad for another quick scavenging run before settling in the muskeg for a week or two.

I ducked out and managed to snare myself a deer with the bow - i feel very confident using it now. The bear meat is dwindling so this deer will see me through the next week or so.

 

Day 181 - Morning

I woke to a misty sunrise with a light snow falling. I decided to head out to Mystery lake for a day or two to look for the prepper cache i haven't been able to locate.

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I packed the remaining bear meet in my outdoor larder (the porch container is only half full now) and set off. The trip was uneventful up through the cave and Dam.

I made my way along the rail tracks and broke trail into the logging area - my intent was to set up in the trailers just off the trail.

I got in just as a snow storm started blowing, so made myself comfortable for the evening before going to bed.

 

Day 182 - Morning

I woke to some average weather but decided to set out anyway. I didn't want to get trapped in the trailers for any length of time, particular since i only had two days worth of meat and wanted this to be a quick trip.

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I emerged in the clear cut and started to work my way up into the hills. I had read there was a look out position in the tops - it would make a good location for a prepper cache up there i figured. I found a few birch saplings along with way, along with a lone maple sapling so i cut them and lashed them to the front of my pack.

Sure enough i found the area but no caches. The view wasn't great, plus the weather was still poor so i made my way back down the sides of the mountain.

After coming around the sides of the unnamed pond, the weather started to break. I sought shelter in a out building, trying to wait out the storm. In a near verbatim repeat of the other night, the weather deteriorated quickly, light faded and my pathetic fire burned itself out. Unlike the previous night, i'm not nearly as well traveled in this area so dead reckoning at night is not really an option. The temperature started to drop quickly so the weather forced my hand.

I bailed out into the storm, heading in what i hoped was the right direction. After blundering my way through the storm i came upon the rail tracks - i could just make out the tunnel entrance that goes through to the muskeg so i headed left. I could tell almost immediately that i was being stalked - the wolf started to snarl and growl when he realised i was on to him, but he kept his distance.

Soon enough i came upon the camp office which i hurriedly ducked into - relieved. I went upstairs and fell into bed.

 

Day 183 - Mid Morning

After a good nights sleep, i poked my head outside and found the weather to be agreeable.

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There was a knoll on the other side of the tracks which looked easy enough to climb - at least it would give me a vantage point so i could glass the nearby area. When i say glass i mean a Mark 1 Eyeball recce, since i don't have any binos.

As i was coming around the top of the knoll i saw it - a prepper cache! How many times have i passed it over the last half year???

I climbed into it and oh boy - the previous occupant was a gun nut. Ammo, rifles. a whet stone and knife along with some spoiled food was what awaited me. I stuffed the ammo, knife and whetstone into my pack, along with two fresh arrows, a arrowhead and an arrow shaft. There was a locker in the bunker but i had no pry bar, so i'll need to come back to check.

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15 rounds of ammo - not a bad haul. Before i left the cache i checked the rifles, but they were both in poor condition and were unloaded.

I decided to head straight back to the Valley, but the weather was closing in so i spent the night in the bunker.

 

Day 184 - Morning

I set out first thing and made my way back to the Dam. I had eaten my last piece of bear meat last night so had a few cat tails and washed them down with some brackish water i had found.

The trip back was equally uneventful as the trip here - i found a wolf i had winged a while ago so took the pelt to go on my porch.

Once i got home i laid out my fresh pelt and saplings to cure with the deer skin already on the porch.

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I also had an abundance of cloth so i set to work repairing all my clothing items, even if they were only moderately worn.

Once that was done i went out for the usual chore of fixing my snow shelter before coming back and eating some gamey bear meat. Tomorrow i'll cook the deer meat and make some more water i think.

Edited by Seshins

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On 3/8/2018 at 12:08 PM, Seshins said:

I’ve got a few bear hides left, along with a 100% standard bedroll. 

Obviously hunting the bear for hide will still be necessary, but not in the near future. 

But agreed the decay rate on the bearskin bedroll is savage!

It's only savage if you leave it unrolled all the time. It's really important to pick up the bedroll each morning. You can put it down somewhere after it's rolled up, but if you leave it deployed for sleeping it will go downhill really fast.

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2 hours ago, stratvox said:

It's only savage if you leave it unrolled all the time. It's really important to pick up the bedroll each morning. You can put it down somewhere after it's rolled up, but if you leave it deployed for sleeping it will go downhill really fast.

Yup I am aware - I make a point of picking it up after each use (learnt from that mistake after leaving my first ever BSBR on the summit in TWM)

Edited by Seshins

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Sorry for the short hiatus - work and the house build has occupied everything the last few weeks. I’ve got another decent update in the works. 

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Day 185 - Morning

I woke up and after getting everything in order i set out to cook the deer meat i had harvested. This was done in a few hours which now leaves me with a good supply of meat - at least for a week since i have some bear meat left over.

I tidied up the house, refilled the storm lanterns and went for a walk around the farm to kill some time.

Come nightfall i decided to stay in the cabin fever retreat. I lit a fire and watched the sun set.

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Day 186 - Morning

Today is the day i head off for a mini-expedition. My plan is to head out to the forlorn muskeg to camp out for a few days, followed by a trip out to Broken Railroad (since i'll be in the general area) before coming back.

I double checked the equipment to take - before triple checking it. Too many times have i left after a glancing gear check, only to find out in a critical moment i'm missing a key piece of gear.

Once i was sure i was set, i tore down the cabin fever retreat and set out. The weather was fair so my going was good.

Walking along the train tracks in mystery lake, the weather started to turn with a dense fog settling over the land.

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After passing the by the lake hut, i had a change of heart and turned back. With night approaching and exhaustion setting in, i thought it would be prudent to stop for the night.

 

Day 187 - Morning

I set out at first light, however the weather was still poor. No wind or snow, but a dense fog - the air was still however i was accompanied by the ghostly howls of a wolf pack in the distance.

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I kept my eyes front and made it to the tunnel. After emerging on the other side, my first task was to find and establish a camp. I had brought along a few kilos of meat, along with the rifle.

The next time i come for an extended camp i'll probably bring the bow for the challenge, but in this test the rifle was the order of the day.

I broke trail and started to head off into the country -after and hour of looking i found a small knoll overlooking a vale and, when the weather is fine, the muskeg proper.

I dug my snow shelter, lit a fire, laid out the meat i had and collected some wood. Not bad if i say so myself.

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I hunkered down for a few hours, hoping the weather would clear. I need to hunt soon if i want to have an easy start. Sure enough the weather broke and the sun shone through. I stepped off on my hunt and made my way down into the small vale. After rounding a large tree i ran smack into a wolf.

He charged me immediately - i snapped up my rifle and shot him - luckily it was a heart shot and he dropped.

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I harvested him fully - the meat will last a few days (he was a scrawny thing mind) and i will leave his pelt at the camp site with the intention of swinging by on my way back to collect.

I made my way back to camp - mission complete. I laid out the hide and gut and decided to take in the sunset over the muskeg before making fire for the night and cooking dinner.

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Day 188 - Morning

I woke up and got straight into a wood hunt. I had burned down the majority of the wood i had collected yesterday so needed more. I spent a good part of the day collecting wood before rounding off my patrol with some cat tail stalks.

I set up a fire and cooked some more wolf for the night, before lounging around inside the snow shelter.

Once the sun had gone down, the aurora came out in all its glory! I sat on another small knoll near the camp and gazed out in wonder over the muskeg.

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While sitting on the knoll i heard a wolf, not far away from me. I had seen in the past what the aurora does to these creatures, so i made my way back nervously to the snow shelter, around 200m away.

It was a nervous night - i could only sleep in 1 hour increments and every time i woke and looked into the inky blackness, i thought i could see him not far off. I kept checking this spot, sure i could see him before falling asleep again.

 

Day 189 - Morning

I woke to a clear, fair morning. Straight away i looked out and checked the spot i had seen this wolf last night. As soon as i looked down my rifle sights i saw...a tree stump. Your eyes do funny things sometimes.

I burned down the rest of the wood and cooked up the rest of the wolf meat. I decided to make this my last night tonight - i'll head off to the broken railroad tomorrow.

I'll keep a few wolf steaks for the trip though.

I spent my last night beside the fire - watching the sun set.

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Day 190 - Morning

I set out first thing, crossing the muskeg. The weather was poor, and i was trailed for the last half of a trip by an ambitious wolf but he kept his distance.

After coming through the rail road i made my way down the side of a large canyon.

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I hooked around the outside of the area before heading towards the hunting lodge. After passing the bear cave i noticed it was occupied - he stuck his head out and growled so i continued on my way as quickly as possible.

After checking out the loge (finding two more rifle rounds) i decided to settle in for the night. I went upstairs, had a wolf steak and crashed.

 

Day 191 - Mid-Day

I woke up reasonably early but was socked in my a blizzard so i stayed put. The weather broke around lunch so i took off back to the large warehouse building.

I got there after an uneventful trip but there wasn't much worth scavenging, just some boots i could tear down for leather to repair my moose satchel.

I continued on  and emerged back into the Muskeg. By now it was getting late and the weather was turning for the worse, so i set up in the poachers den in the crashed train.

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I collected some sticks, wood and coal and settled in for the night. The fire barrel was loaded for the night, so i sat in the corner watching the flames as the cruel wind howled like a demon outside.

It's times like this the loneliness creeps in.

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Day 192 - Morning

I woke up with the barrel still smouldering, but the weather had died down and a glorious sunset was burning the morning away. I set out for my return trip home.

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I swung by the campsite and tore down the shelter, while collecting the pelt and gut.

After breaking out through into mystery lake, i made my way back towards the dam. Over the course of what seemed like minutes, the weather turned into a full blown blizzard.

I had picked up a pry bar in Broken Railroad so i made my way up to the peppers cache with the locker that i hadn't opened. I managed to get into it, but typically there was only some worn clothing and a box of matches.

With the weather raging outside, i decided to stay put for the night.

 

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