Marine with questions....???

Posted by: LucasMarine

Marine with questions....??? - 07/24/11 04:44 PM

So, a little about me... I'm a Marine serving as an instructor here in Virginia Beach Va (NAS OCEANA) and i want to take a trip somewhere within say 5 hrs away to do some backpacking / camping. i want to be 100% off the grid. ie.... some friends, some packs, a rifle or two for small game aka .22. now with that said... i want to be out in the wild for about a week. do some hiking and fishing and just basic living off the land kinda stuff. so, i'll need somewhere to park my Jeep thats semi-secure (i mean its a Jeep right? there is NO SECURE place) anyhow.... i want to be able to wander into the woods or hills and just disappear for the week. now i do have some hiking and camping experience but haven't been in a few years.... maybe this is my mid-life crisis?? anyhow... any suggestions would be useful!!!!! also, if you guys have an idea for a packing list that would be helpful too!!!!!! so far research i have done so far lead me to the AT but i don't know where to start and the laws here in VA....
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Marine with questions....??? - 07/24/11 06:12 PM

Welcome! Your service to our country is greatly appreciated!

For a start, there are a lot of excellent articles, including sample gear lists, on the home page of this site. Several members have their gear lists on their own websites linked to in their signature lines.

For game and fish regulations, licensing, etc., google "Game and Fish" for the state in which you are interested (Virginia?). Even if the state has a different title for its game and fish department, google will get you there. Most states have defined seasons, even for small game, so if you're going to hunt, your trip will have to coincide with those.

My own experience in "living off the country" (fishing and berry picking) is that planning to live on what I can catch/pick rather than taking enough food only ensures that I won't catch anything and that it takes over an hour to find a few ripe berries for my cereal! In other words, take some food with you; whatever you get from hunting, fishing, or foraging is an extra treat.

We have quite a few members from the east coast; I hope some will answer your location questions!
Posted by: Steadman

Re: Marine with questions....??? - 07/24/11 10:27 PM

For trails to wander start here:

Rules and regs, google George Washington & Jefferson National Forests (the link was too big to paste in); for hunting rules and regs I'd start with the State of Virginia's website, or at the archery range on base (I don't hunt, but I bet they know).

Blue Ridge Mountain Sports and Wild River Outfitters are reliable shops. Rei in Richmond is a good competitor worth looking at if you are buying gear. However, I've gotten the best backpacking trip advice from Blue Ridge Mountain sports over in the Hilltop shopping center (over on Laskin) or from their sister store in Hampton.

AT is out by Stauton on 64; you can get out into sections w/in the National Forests in 3-5 hours.
Posted by: LucasMarine

Re: Marine with questions....??? - 07/25/11 07:30 AM

Thanks for the input! i'm gonna have to use some of the info that i've been given to put together a plan of attack though.... it seems like there are lots of day hikes or maybe a few hour hikes but nothing like what i'm really looking for. unless i just put many of them together and make it work that way...... also i've got to get in touch with the park service and see if there are any rules about camping off the beaten trail.... it seems like there are campsites out there that are on the path but thats not what i'm looking for. frown oh well though... in the big picture i have about 2 months to plan.... so it'll work itself out in due time!
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Marine with questions....??? - 07/25/11 12:29 PM

If you're going to hunt, you don't want to be in the national parks (National Park Service-Dept. of Interior)--absolutely no hunting is allowed there. You want to be in the national forests (US Forest Service--Dept. of Agriculture) where hunting is allowed! In most places, the Forest Service has no restrictions on camping off-trail.