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negotiator

City boys lost in wilderness hike

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Okay, 13 yrs ago my friend and I were lost in the Nicolet National Forest. It is 1.5 million acres of forest. We located a forgotten logging camp and trails a century old. But we were 9 hrs into the thick woods with only a bottle of Jim Beam and cooking grease. We follwed the river as best we could, but the trails  were more enticing yet led us into a mess. We had no compass to retrace our steps. We were completely lost and began hallucinating. The complete story is remarkable and horrifying, but that's not why I am posting this.

Truth is, I am a writer, and the production company is interested in my screenplay about our adventure. They request that we retrace our steps from 13yrs ago and make video confirmation that these trails and certain places still exist. It will save a ton of money on their filming budget.

 

I am returning with 3 friends. We are novices to camping and hiking. What will we need and what advice can you give 4 city boys to survive? How can we mark our trail, so we can retrace our steps back to camp? What happens if we encounter a mother bear?

Stuff like that.

 

Thanks!

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It's a pleasure meeting you, negotiator!  Welcome to Wild Survive!  I have a tendency to get lost too, much to the amusement of my fellow members here, but I never fail to have an adventure!

 

I think your adventure sounds amazing too, and I can't wait to read about it or see the movie!  :thumbsup:

 

Come by the Campfire and say hello when you get a minute.  Someone is always there, poking at the fire, or poking fun at someone... :hugegrin:

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I am returning with 3 friends. We are novices to camping and hiking. What will we need and what advice can you give 4 city boys to survive? How can we mark our trail, so we can retrace our steps back to camp? What happens if we encounter a mother bear?

Stuff like that.

 

Thats easy GPS units. Take two if you wish. They will give you exact latitude and longitude numbers also track lines that you can follow right back down the trail you just walked. I would suggest that you practice useing these features until you are comfortable with them.

 

Is there cell phone signals in this area?

 

There are emergency satelite units you can buy or if lucky rent that will send an emergency signal if you get lost.

 

ALWAYS tell someone where you are going when you expect to return and where your starting point will be and where you will park your car.Make note of your compass BEFORE you leave your car.

 

If you are traveling off a road you know if your headding north you will have to go south to get back to the road. You may not know where you will come out on the road but at leat you will be on a road.

 

In short you have a lot of things to do before you set out on this adventure. Your doing the right thing by getting as much info now and not after your lost.

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I am returning with 3 friends. We are novices to camping and hiking. What will we need and what advice can you give 4 city boys to survive? How can we mark our trail, so we can retrace our steps back to camp? What happens if we encounter a mother bear?

Stuff like that. Thanks!

 

Well met my friend.

 

There are some things one will need to do to make a trip like yours easier but no less fun.

 

* Buy a 2 maps (laminated if available) of the area and in marker, map out every step of where you will be going. Give one to a friend/family member with instructions to call the authorities if you do not contact them within __ days and take the other map with you.

 

* Buy a compass that runs true on your half of the equator and practice until you are comfortable with it.

 

* Take with you as much of the following as possible: Fire making items (lighters, waterproof matches, flint stick, instant fire sticks and more), Water procuring items (A water filter, water purification tablets and a pot for boiling water) and shelter making items (Ponchos, string (at least 100 ft), tarp(s), tent(s)...) and lightweight food that doesn't need water or to be heated.

 

* A weapon for self defense if legal in your area and you are comfortable using one. This can be a knife, firearm, walking stick, baton or any number of them.

 

* A Cellular phone as Swede suggested.

 

* Good hiking or at the very least many terrain walking shoes that are well broken in.

 

* Extra socks as this will prevent blisters and other problems.

 

* A good all purpose first aid kit.

 

* A very good knife but be sure that the knife does not exceed your legal limit for length or concealment in your area.

 

Also bring along anything that you can think of and reasonably carry that provides the following:

 

* Staying dry if wet, warm if cold, cool if hot, quenched if thirsty (though don't wait until you're thirsty to drink), satisfied if hungry and healthy if sick.

 

 

 

Note: These are mere suggestions and not instructions. In no way am I guaranteeing your safety by listing these items and I take no responsibility for your actions or lack there of to stay safe. Taking along these items and doing these things will only help one succeed on a journey as the one you've described.

 

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I'd consider bringing someone with some wilderness experience if at all possible.  If you don't know someone with outdoor skills then consider hiring a licensed guide from the local area.  Maybe you could write it off as a expense if you are in business for your self. 

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You will need to be In very good shape also. I suggest you start an exercise program in advance. A lot of walking and cardio exercise.

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So you ask for commercial reasons…

 

I am sure production companies have the money and the contacts to answer all its questions and they would normally buy in people with knowledge of the specific area whether geographical or skill based.

 

I am very surprised to hear the production company has asked you to go back to the area to confirm locations. Ok this is not unusual but they would accompany you on the trip so they get some idea of what is possible.

 

I am not happy with people asking this sort of question. If it is for commercial activity then the information should given as commercial information.

 

Secondly a lot of people ask these questions to buff themselves up to make themselves more important in there tinny little minds because they are scared to come on the forum and learn like the rest of us.

 

This sort of request for information for a commercial activity should have been made to the Mod/Admin team and taken to the owner and discussed with the interested party.

 

This is how real companies work especially production companies and television research companys.

 

 

 

 

 

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Im OK with his request Adi but I see your point. First he seems to be asking for free advice that in the long run is for profit from their experiances.

 

Second it opens up the possibility of some liability on our part if the information caused harm or injury to him.

 

I think Gandars concern of the liability is well placed. We need to get our disclaimer posted on every page. Meanwhile I also think his question is well intended and Ill let it remain.

 

Carry on.

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Ok i want to make it clear to negotiator that my above comments are not aimed at you per-say but this is the first time we have been approached in this form, to my knowledge.

 

The aim of my post was to encourage discussion between all parties, to put negotiator under a little pressure to find out more about his trip, his aims and his motivation. And also to highlight the situation to the management team and forum members.

 

Negotiator I have some questions for you and if you can answer these i am sure members of the forum will address each question answering them.

 

In what location will this trip take place?

What is the terrain like?

At what time of the year?

What are the local weather conditions like at that time of year in that area?

For what duration?

What is yours and your teams level of fitness?

Do any of you have experience in the outdoors?

Do you or your team have any outdoor equipment already or are you starting from scratch?

How will you get to your location?

Where are the nearest towns to the locating and at what distance?

Do you need a permit to visit the area?

Are there ranger posts in the area?

Is the area open to people to do outdoor pursuits?

Is shooting permitted on the land and when is the hunting seasons in that area?

What is your aims for the trip and what must you achieve for this production company?

Can you achieve all these goals?

What external support is available to you?

What level of first aid, navigation do you have in your group?

What kit and food will you need for your trip?

How far will you be travelling on trip and during each day?

 

The list can go on but this is the sort of things that anyone venturing out into the outdoors has to consider. You dont need to give some of them much time in thought. If you can answer most of them yourself you are building your knowledge of the trip and will be better prepared. If you need help answering any of the questions that's not a problem, there are plenty of people on here that have the knowledge to help you answer them.

 

I dont mean to teach you to suck eggs by these questions, everyone has some knowledge but its a question of how much knowledge you have, you have said you are all novices. Its fine to ask questions and people will always be willing to answer them for you but remember the information given is subjective so do research from books, TV, videos, Internet and from different people and take the advice that best suits you and dump the rest.

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Negotiator Adi teaches survival classes and has his own web sites. You couldnt find a better person to answer your questions. Please feel free to ask your questions we answer knowing in the end its up to you to use what you learn at you own risk.

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First of all, I want to thank all of you for the tremendous amount of support and helpful advice. I was taking notes.

I guess some of you have questioned my story somewhat. Well, I can understand that. It's not everyday that a writers screenplay draws significant interest by an accomplished independent film production company. I've been writing since 5th grade and have 5 screenplays and 1 book to show for it. This particular screenplay was nominated for an award at the Great Lakes Film festival last year.

 

The ordeal my friend and I survived 13 yrs ago happened in the Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin. The terrain is not as challenging as the number of dead ends and disappearing trails we encountered. It was early September - the days were hot but the nights were very cold. We were lost in the forest for 9 hrs, which may not sound like a lot, but when you have no food, water, map, or access to outside communication, it can get pretty hairy- especially for two city boys without a lick of hiking or camping experience. We were originally staying on the campgrounds connected to the forest, and the very next morning trekked out into the woods for a recreational hike. We thought we could make it back, but lost our way. We eventually came across a road, and hitched a ride back.

 

Since then, me and Doug have gained some weight, but are still somewhat athletic. I was advised by a director at the production studios that they would like confirmation that the sites and landmarks I seen and wrote about still exist, therefore they can create a promotional package to show an investor who is already interested in the story. If we can prove that the locations are still there, then this will save money and increase the budget for the movie dramatically, thus leaving more money for special effects and a bigger named actor/actress. This is critical. If the video confirmation falls through, there will be no movie. They say most of California is made up of struggling actors and writers just praying for that one big break. This could be mine, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Sorry, but you'll have to excuse me for not sharing the story in it's entirety at this time.

Thanks again for your help.

....I'll keep taking notes.

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No problem my friend we are happy to help. Us knowing the area and time of year you intend to explore is critical to the things you should prepare for.

 

Its been a long time since you were there last. The entire area will have changed. A sappling than is now a tree etc. Areas grow over as I have found for myself. If you take a GPS (I cant express how important this is) you can mark the exact cordinates with a picture/ video of the area.

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Guest Lead Dog

Nicolet is all trees and logging roads.  It is pretty easy to get spun around up there, especially with very few landmarks available through the trees.  We were four-wheeling up there a few years ago and our trail leader drove us in a circle.  And we were on logging roads!  The second pass of a particular intersection and I stopped until we got our bearings.  Unfortunately with all the logging that goes on up there, the USGS topo maps were outdated and of little use to us.  New roads sprung up and old ones were overgrown with vegetation.

 

Follow Swede's advice and use a GPS in conjunction with a topo map when out there.

 

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After reading Lead dogs post and looking at the website of the area and reading how a part of the park has been closed to the public due to a tornado that swept through the area last month. I would suggest you contact the forest services and discuses your plan, aims and goals.

 

You need to make contact with the local population that can guide and advise you. I am sure the wardens could tell you if the places still exist and give you the best directions to them. Local knowledge is the best.

 

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What I know of Wisconsin in the summer the mosquitos are horrible. Deet is the best for me. Also clothing is important to keep most areas covered but if its hot out that could be a problem.

 

Camping over night will expose you to the worst bug attacks so tents with netting is a must. They dont recomend spraying directly on the skin but sometimes I have to do just that.

 

Fall of the year after the first frost could be considered also. Cooler weather makes for more comfortable enviornment for me although that is hunting season. Some states require blaze orange for hunting and that would be a good idea for you just to be safe.

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Ok,

 

well aside from what has been suggested (all great ideas) why not take someone who knows the area well, such as a guide or ranger?

GPS is a great idea, provided it has power, so sont forget the spare batteries, and it should be in addition to (NOT replacing) a compass, map, and the ability to read both.

 

If possible, some means of two way communication. 2 Meter, Cell, GMRS, something, especially within the group itself.

 

Check out the articles here on PSKs (presonal survival kits), knives, etc. The PSK is the single most important part of your woods kit, bar none.

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Yes, I've returned...alive.

We hiked for miles and found that what was once a beautiful untouched landscape with forgotten trails and logging roads from nearly a century ago, has been ravished by modern developers and advanced logging machinery. Where there was once narrow trails obscured by brush and tall grass, we found wide paths smoothed over by huge construction vehicles. We found a boy scout camp had been built and their camp ruled the majority of the area we traveled. It was very disappointing. However, we still managed to meander far enough into the woods to get lost. We had a compass and a map, but the map failed to display roads and certain paths. The map failed to list the logging roads in which we were lost on. Hours passed and it was near sunset. We were still unsure of our location. We stumbled across the mass destruction caused by a level 4 tornado that ripped through the terrain a short while ago. Trees bent and a whole area of forest leveled. The sheer devastation was awesome. Just before sundown we escaped the forest and ran into the highway then walked for (for what seemed like miles) back to the campgrounds. We were lost on the trails for 6 1/2 hrs. One of my friends sprained his ankle. He wasn't physically prepared for the hike - he wasn't with us the time before. We were covered with ticks and frequently throughout the hike, had to peel them off of each other. The bugs were so bad that, rather than sleep in the tent, we packed our things at 1:30 am and headed back home. We were being devoured by ticks - even in the tent. The muggy temperatures didn't help things. I guess we really are city boys - glad to be alive. Although if it wasn't for your help, we'd probably still be out there! Thank you!

 

Any ideas for other camping/hikes? Adventures? in Wisconsin? We're ready for the next challenge.

 

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Negotiator,

 

Glad you got back in one piece. Sorry about the ticks but that's part of being out there, saying that doesn't make it any more fun though.

 

Before you head out on your next adventure I would suggest a few things.

 

* Make sure all in the group are physically up to any challenges that might present themselves so one doesn't wear down the rest.

 

* Try just the campout part in either a backyard or local campground. This will allow you the time to attune yourself with your needs in the wild and get a better bearing for it all.

 

Just my opinion,

Gandar

 

 

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Negotiator, it would be nice if you sheared with us the photographs of your trip. I for one would be interested in seeing photos of the tornado damage.

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Guest Lead Dog

Any ideas for other camping/hikes? Adventures? in Wisconsin? We're ready for the next challenge.

 

Where are you located?  Kettle Moraine State Park is not far from Milwaukee.  It offers some good hiking and camping, including some backpacking sites.  It does not offer a remote wilderness feeling and you can see a lot of farmland from the higher points.  However, given it is not so remote, it is a great place to ready yourself for more remote trips.

 

In addition to the tips mentioned above, I highly recommend taking an orienteering course.  The survival skills you will learn elsewhere on the site are important for safely enjoying the outdoors, but getting home is the most crucial.

 

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Negotiator, I'm new here, saw your post, and read the answers given by some very experienced outdoors people here.  No need for me to comment on their suggestions as they seem first rate, to me.

 

I will, however, make some suggestions about "survival" relating to your reason for asking the questions.  That is, "financial survival" in the down and dirty arena of show business.  My suggestions will be based on my background.  I've been an active member of the Writers Guild of America,west, since pre-strike 1973.  I've written many episodes for primetime network teeeveee in the one hour dramatic field, plus some 30 minute episodes for a very popular syndicated teeeveee show.  Also have written mini-series and had one feature script produced.  I was a story editor on two shows.  That said......

 

Is this to be a fiction piece or documentary??  If a fiction screenplay, I don't know why a producer or director would be concerned about the exact location where your "ordeal" took place.  (??)  Odds are, they'd shoot it in Canada, anyway.  Saves a lot of coins in production expenses.  With CGI and the incredible special effects technology today, "location" isn't nearly as important as it once was.

 

If it's a documentary then a good location scout can find the locations that will closely match where you were, no matter it is now highly changed.

 

Has the producer asked you to write the screenplay "on spec" and if he can come up with the $$$, he will make the flick?  If his film company is a signatory to the WGA Minimum Basic Agreement, he should not ask you to perform writing work for which he has not paid you some up front money.

 

If the producer, or director, offers you a "deal," or contract, make sure it is in writing with all the specifics of payment, writing credit, laid out.  If you do not have an agent, it would behoove you to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable of show business deals to go over it with you.  A verbal agreement won't cut it!

 

There is an ancient story in show business about the great movie maker, Samuel Goldwyn.  He once said, "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on."  Take that malapropism to heart.

 

If the producer offers you a deal in which you receive no money, but can participate in the "profits," be very, very aware, that in the movie making racket, there is almost universally NEVER a "net profit" on a film, or teevee show.  Sometimes, but very rarely.  That is what is well known as "Hollywood accounting."  If he offers you a "net profit participation" deal, understand you will never receive more than $0.00.  That's just the way it works.

 

If he doesn't have the coins to pay you a decent amount for your screenplay, long odds are he will never have the coins to get it off the ground. 

 

Soooo, be wary.  Understand that in show business, the old saying, "Money talks and bull feces walks," is just as relevant today as it was 80 years ago.

 

Just my suggestions.  They're worth exactly what you paid for them. 

 

Best of luck with your writing, and with your outdoor endeavors.

 

L.W.

 

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Kettle Moraine, that sounds like a plan. I really should take a class to better educate myself on hiking as well.

Thanks for the advice.

 

I can send a couple of pics, but the majority of the trip (including the tornado damage) was video taped.

 

 

 

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well get the links up for the vids then we want to see you city slickers in the bush.

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HOLLY - "Leanwolf, what a jungle!!!" 

 

It can get a whole lot worse.

 

On the other hand, at times, it can be a whole lot of fun!  ;)

 

L.W.

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