Crossing the Wilderness III

Crossing the Wilderness III:

Kim du Toit is having the next go-round of the game. We played the last time, thanks to Doc Russia tapping Grim's Hall for knife suggestions. There are a couple of new rules, and Kim picked up my addition from last time of asking for dog breeds:

Yes, it’s that time again.

Enough time has passed since last I posed the question that we can play the game once more. For the benefit of New Readers who weren’t around to play it before, here’s how it works. (Old-timers, note that some things have changed. RTFQ.)

The Challenge:

You have the opportunity to go back in time, arriving on the east coast of North America circa 1650, and your goal is to cross the North American continent, taking as much time as you need. When/if you reach the Pacific coastline, you’ll be transported back to the present day.

Your equipment for this journey will be as follows (taken back in the time capsule with you):

-- enough gold to buy provisions for the first five days’ travel
-- a small backpack containing some clothing essentials
-- a winter coat, raincoat and boots
-- waterproof sleeping bag
-- ONE long gun (but no scope)
-- ONE handgun
-- 1,800 rounds of ammo, divided between guns as desired
-- TWO knives, and (new) a “toolkit” knife
-- an axe
-- a box of 1,000 “strike anywhere” waterproof matches
-- a large-scale topological map book, binoculars and a compass
-- and a large U.S. Army First Aid kit.

Once there, you’ll be given a horse, a mule and a dog—and apart from that, you’re on your own. Remember you’ll be traveling through deep woods, open prairie, desert and mountains. You may encounter hostile Indian tribes and dangerous animals en route, which should be considered when you answer the following questions (and only these):

1. What long gun would you take back in time with you?
2. What handgun?
3. Which knives?
4.—New—What breed of dog?

The Rules:

1. Emails only will be accepted (comments are closed on this post), addressed to kim - at - kimdutoit dot com

2. Subject Line: Crossing The Wilderness. Not “What I’d take”, or “Guns and knives” or anything else: Crossing The Wilderness. Copy & paste the words from this post into your subject line.

3. Feel free to elaborate on your choices, BUT in no more than 100 words per answer. I don’t wanna read an essay on survival skills, nor do I wanna hear about the sixteen finalists you went through before you eventually made your choices. I’m looking for answers like: “Colt SAA in .45 LC, because it works and the .45 LC is a proven stopper.” (That’s 16 words.) Feel free to tell me (if you’ve played the game before) whether your choices have changed since last time, and why. Inside the 100 words.

4.—New Rule—multi-caliber combo guns will not be allowed, nor will barrel sleeves (which allow one to swap calibers), nor multiple barrels for the same receiver (eg. a Browning Citori with 12, 20 and 28ga barrels). You get one gun, one barrel / barrel set (in the case of shotguns or a double rifle, in the same caliber). Obviously, a gun which, unaltered, can fire different cartridges like the .357 Mag/.38 Spec or .45 LC/.410ga will be allowed.

5. Answers to me by next Saturday, April 7th. Results will be posted on April 9th.

Have fun.

To save the readers chasing it down, I said I'd join Doc in choosing a stainless lever-action .45 Long Colt rifle; I'd pick a Ruger New Vaquero in the same caliber; and a good bowie knife plus a skinning/utility knife. What constitutes a "good" bowie knife is personal to your physique: length of arm, strength of grip, and so forth.

I don't see any reason to change those choices.

I don't think I ever got around to answering my own questions: what breed of dog, horse, and mule? So let me do that now.

Dog: A Labrador mixed with something larger and heavier. These dogs are unfailingly brave and reliable, tough and with boundless energy. They are also strong enough to defend you, but have good hunting instincts. I've worked with several over the years, and one in particular, and they're great animals.

Horses: You want a fast horse that has good endurance. I'd suggest one of the gaited breeds, like a Tennessee Walker. They can cover ground fast and without putting strain on you. A non-gaited horse will have to canter (at least) to keep up with them, which will wear out their riders.

Mules: There are several good choices in mules. I'd say a draft cross with a Mammoth Jack donkey; they can carry a ton, and if you have to eat them, you'll have plenty of meat to dry and carry with you.

No comments: