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Briar Patch Outdoors

Florida Wilderness Skills Trip (Part 1)

by Keith A. Williams

In many ways, the rural areas of Florida are the REAL Florida. Away from endless condominium developments, tourist hotels, and t-shirt shops, there is a Florida filled with palmettos, alligators, armadillos, cypresses, and egrets. This natural Florida is a very special place, ideal for learning foraging and survival skills. In the summer of 2005, George Hedgepeth, Darryl Patton, and myself put together a survival and primitive skills event to be held in the Euchee Valley of the Florida panhandle. This is the area in which I grew up, and it is one of my favorite places to be.

Due to circumstances beyond our control (such as high water), we had to abandon the original location we had chosen and scouted out for this event. Not to worry though, as Landy Young and myself arrived a day early to tie up a few loose ends, which included licensing and securing arrangements for use of our alternate location. This actually worked out extremely well, with us having unrestricted access to approximately 750 acres of private land consisting of grassland, clay hills, open woodland, and plenty of fine swamp. This land, and in particular the spot that we used as an entry point near Sam Story's Landing on the Choctawhatchee River, tends to hold a special place in my mind because of the tromping around that I did there as a kid. Also, on a historical note, this was the main Encampment of the Euchee Indians and their Chief (possibly an ancestor of mine) Timpoochie Kinnard or Sam Story, as he was better known, in the early 1800ís.

We hit the woods on the afternoon on June 18, 2005 with 13 of the best people of various ages that I could have hoped to spend this time with.

click to enlarge

George, Kerri, and Jonathan came from Michigan, Darryl and Fred from Alabama, Chris from Virginia, Jason from Kentucky, Nathan from Mississippi, Landy from South Carolina, Fernando from New York, Mike from Georgia, and Tim from Florida. (Although I grew up in the area where we would be camped, I now reside in North Carolina.)

On to PART TWO


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Durand MI 48429
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