Primitive and modern outdoor skills

Backpacking in the Ozarks


Angie and I did a 3 day (2 night) section of the Ozark trail.

Gear: I was playing with interesting gear. Here's a picture of the gear I carried:

For this trip I also carried my plastic poncho, because my cotton one isn't quite done yet, and I needed a poncho in case it rained.
The straps pictured on the pack were left behind in favor of practicing with non-plastic rope.

Unused to Missouri we decided to try some fire-starting materials:

We found that we could use puff from a local plant, not sure what it was maybe a golden-rod of some kind? to catch the spark. Then we could use a lichen as a coal extender so it would burn long enough to light sticks. This worked quite well, but only if the lichen was dry enough... so we tried to store it so it would be dry when we went to use it. Dew was sometimes enough to dampen it too much, sometimes it was still okay.

Johnson shutins was gorgeous. We'd actually been there earlier, but it was great to go back.We almost just stopped there and stayed for a day

A nice campsite and delicious food. We split cooking so I could practice with the wood stove, and because our two pots weren't large enough to cook all the food I brought. I've been eating a LOT lately so I carried double dinner for myself. We discovered that I need a larger cookpot :P


This is the "scour". That line above is an incomprehensibly large damn wall surrounding a reservoir on top of a large hill. Some years ago it burst and flowed down carving a huge scour out of the ground on it's way through. The restitution they payed for the damage done was used to rebuild all the human components of Johnson Shutins. That wall was just amazing to look at. It's a long way away still in this photo. I'd seen it on our drive in and yelled my surprise to Angie as we rounded to top of a hill but it was too late for her to see it. This was her first view.


At the other end we stuck out our thumbs for a hitch. I was curious to see how it went in Missouri. It took half an hour but a really really sweet guy picked us up and decided to drive us all the way back to our car (not what we expected or were even hoping for, but we were very thankful). Nothing like hitchhiking to meet the nicest people.

A great trip. Angie and I definitely fell in love with Missouri while we were there. it's quite the beautiful place.