7 Day Trip Advice

Hi, I was planning to do a canoeing trip in mid-march and my basic plan is to have someone drop myself off with a canoe and fishing tackle, and camping equipment but no food, and I would just sort of “live off the land” for 7 or 8 days while I canoed downstream. I’m mostly looking for advice on location but any insight would be greatly appreciated. I need a river with good fishing but I would also like it to be decently secluded or remote so I ran into as few people as possible. Thanks in advance,


I would take at minimum, instant rice, oatmeal and tea bags.

Given the season you are looking at southern rivers, at least in North America. I would look seriously at one of the coastal plain rivers in GA or Florida. The Ogeechee, Suwanee would be two I’d recommend. Another option for March would be the Buffalo in Arkansas.

The fishing for food thing is not a great idea, unless you are used to and comfortable with fasting for several days at a time. Some folks are and we are certainly capable of functioning pretty well without food for a week. Fishing is different everywhere you go: species present, what bait to use, what habitat to concentrate on. You may figure all this out in a week, but be hungry until you do.


– Last Updated: Jan-09-06 4:46 PM EST –

I do plan to do research on fishing specifics for the river before I go and maybe take a mycology book. Thanks for the advice, I'll look into these rivers. I also recently saw a small thing about the Wilderness Waterway in the Everglades, so I'm considering that as well.

I found the thread below and several people suggested the buffalo so I'm going to start there. I think I could go a couple days without food, but you really think I might not catch anything?


I think much of the wilderness waterway is still closed due to hurricane damage. Many of the platform camps(chickees)are gone or damged.

I have never fished the Buffalo, but there are others on the board that have. Hopefully you’ll heard from them.

Buffalo, Current
Either of those would be good, and if you don’t catch fish you could certainly mooch off the tourists!

gut reaction
I’ve been watching this thread,hoping my initial gut reaction was wrong.

Pack some food. I’m not saying you can’t do what you intend to do. I’m saying it’s foolhardy.

What’s your contingency plan? You’d better have one. After a few days without food the brain doesn’t work so good. If you’re alone and without food and you can’t trust your judgement, what’s going to happen? Who’s comming to get you at what location on what date?

I’m not saying you should eat the food you pack. I’m saying a Knorr 1L soup package for each day is a lifeline if things go bad.

It’s an interesting experiment. I might try the same sort of thing one day.

I would wager 80% of the plants out there are either poison or just indigestable. Take a course with a hands-on portion in the area you’re going to.

bad paln
I think I wouldn’t go with hime, I done a few week long trips, and if his plans are this bad at the start I would question the rest of his judgement

A Response
Thanks for the advice Mike, that place does sound interesting and I’m in Maryland so it wouldn’t be too hard to find someone to drop me off. I’m sorry my ‘paln’ sounds so poor to you, bowdier. This trip is a work in progress, and if I had all the details worked out, or even the location, I wouldn’t be on this forum. The idea is based on a trip in a recent Outside magazine: “50 Ways to Live Large.” Here is the excerpt:

“35. Live off the land for a week in the wilderness – solo.

Pack your tackle and mycology text, then commune with the fishes and the fungi. Kluane Airways will fly you and a canoe to Caribou Lakes, in the Yukon, where you can pluck graylings from the Liard River as you paddle more than 100 miles to Finlayson Lake. Then you’ll be shuttled by van to Inconnu Lodge (250-860-4187, www.inconnulodge.com) to celebrate your accomplishment with a real meal. $1,400 for flights, van pickup, and a last night at the lodge; canoe, $35 per day; sat-phone rental, $25 per day”

Although I don’t have the finances or the proper timing for their Yukon trip, I was hoping to replicate the challenge on a budget. I’ve done many hiking trips and the goal of ‘living off the land’ is something that’s somewhat nagged at the back of my head since meeting a hermit in the cloud forest of Costa Rica. Perhaps there aren’t rivers in the continental United States that are simply not bountiful enough for such a trip and although my fishing experience is limited in fresh water, I find it hard to believe I wouldn’t catch something at least every other day. I plan to take a phone - cellular if it works, satellite otherwise. Having food on this trip, however, would be similar to having the answers in small print on the bottom of a puzzle. You’re far more likely to give up and glance or even look subconsciously if they’re there. It is also similar to walking a tight rope with and without a net, while the net isn’t touched in either case, without a net is a much bigger accomplishment and mental challenge.

While I understand many of your reservations about this trip and agree that it shouldn’t be attempted by just anyone, believe my mental toughness and resolve is better than average. I may attempt a 48 or 72 hour fast as soon as I have a convenient weekend comes in order to test my resolve and have someone gauge any deterioration in any aspects mental or physical that I may not notice. Please keep the comments coming, positive or negative, but please try to be constructive. I appreciate this valuable resource of having other outdoorsmen with experience in this every specific area give me feedback.

Thank you very much,


Mycology texts are good But
as a dedicated mycophile I must warn you that there are many look alikes. Most won’t kill you but they will make you need medical attention. Do you know how to do a spore print,or know the difference between decurrent and attached gills. If not do not eat anything except known fungus. A well know aurthur tried this no food trip in the Everglades and resorted to mooching from tourists, and this area is full of food if you know what you are looking for. Keep planning but know your limitations.

Look into the Altamaha River…
Located in southeast Georgia. Don’t know where you’re coming from but this river would maked a good extended trip. And, if the water is low enough, plenty of sandbars to camp on.

fungus? why
Though they may taste good, mushrooms have almost no nutritional value. You would be better off eating grass.

how experienced are you at fishing?

– Last Updated: Jan-17-06 11:32 AM EST –

If you are a moderately experienced fisherman then you already know that there are days when you don't catch anything, and that sometimes those days can come back-to-back.

Also, if you have caught, cleaned and eaten a good number of fish, you already know how much fish it takes for a satisfying meal that can hold you for a while.

If you are not a moderately experienced fisherman, then I don't know if you are prepared to make an informed decision about heading out alone without food.

As someone else here said, the brain does not function well without food. Bad things can happen when the brain isn't working well.

Try some stretches of the FLGulf Coast
I often paddle for 5 to 10 days from the Chassahowitzka River to Bayport with mostly condiments, carbs, soups, snacks and poweraide. I get most of my nurishment from the land (flora and some fauna) and waters (fish, blue crab, oysters(winter only!). My water I get from spings along the way. Be aware there are plants here in Florida that will kill you even if you take only one bite. But if the truth be known Florida is a smorgasbord if you know what to look for.

Are you trying to win the Darwin
award? Besides that it doesn’t sound like a fun trip, it sounds like an awfully dangerous trip. Why don’t you leave your PFD behind and any warm clothes, a sleeping bag and a tent? Seriously, on any extended canoe trip, after a couple of days, I became awfully hungery even though I was eating. It isn’t hard to burn 3k to 5k calories on a trip. You’re going in March when the weather can be awfully cold. How do you expect to make any distant if you spend all your time looking for food? I’m sorry, but it’s just plain dumb going without some food.

Trail mix
never leave home with out it. You also might try some pemicin