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South Prince of Wales Wilderness Packraft Traverse


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Home Forums Campfire Member Trip Reports South Prince of Wales Wilderness Packraft Traverse

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  • #3749231
    Paddy M
    BPL Member

    @backwoods

    Companion forum thread to: South Prince of Wales Wilderness Packraft Traverse

    Last spring, BJ Brewer, Matt Gelso and I made a 15 day packraft-based crossing of the South Prince of Wales Wilderness on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. The idea of this trip was to traverse a rarely visited wilderness area, spend time in old growth costal rainforest, and fish some of the most remote and rarely visited steelhead streams in the United States.

    #3749232
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    What an amazing trip, thanks for writing it up!  I’ve only been to POW for work (toxic waste sites, of which it has a surprising variety) but those remaining unlogged portions are otherworldly.

    Find any caves or karst?  POW is probably the most likely place to find completely virgin passage in the US and/or caverns unvisited for thousands of years perhaps holding clues to the peopling of the Americas if it was along the coastline.

    Since PSP would be a wide-spread event, I’d try a very little bit and be alert to symptoms, increasingly one’s harvest (or, ideally, a companion’s intake) over time.  And avoid whole mussels with their viscera versus clams or scallops of which you prepare only the muscle.

    Lots of options to harvest protein.  That early in the year, I’ve braised fern fiddleheads.  I think you have to pack in your carbs.  Plus the butter and garlic for the fish, fiddleheads and shellfish.

    #3754868
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    lead to us going 6 miles in 17 hours spread over two days

    My favorite part of your trip report. I appreciate this. Also, I crave it in advance, curse it during, and am fond of the memories afterward!

    I’m not sure shellfish poisoning is much risk in AK or CA (yet). It’s mostly a Washington State thing (right now) and has been for several years. Academics are working on real-time tests available to normal people like us but they’re still aways away (a few years) from consumer markets…

    #3754980
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    It would seem if very low levels of pregnancy hormones or COVID viral particles can be determined by a low-cost home test in 15 minutes, PSP toxins could be as well.  Alas, there isn’t the market for millions (a billion?) of such test kits, so development costs might never be recovered.

    Is there an organism more sensitive than us?  A “canary in the coal mine” – some marine worm or something you could feed the shellfish to and assess its reaction before consuming it yourself?  Or some critter that will consume 25% of its body weight versus we who’d only eat 0.5% of our body of shellfish? Could the concentration of toxins from its food source be a helpful defense mechanism akin to poison-arrow frogs concentrating toxic alkaloids from its diet of ants, mites and termites?

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