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Old 11-01-2011, 06:36 PM   #46
Smithy OP
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Originally Posted by Stromdog View Post
Here's a pic, Smithy.

Thank you!

There are tons of suitable containers out there for this purpose, but since you were specific in naming that type, I had to see it. Looks like a winner, nice wide mouth, easy cap, plentiful space.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:51 PM   #47
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I found this book at a used book sale when I was ten and studied it obsessively during my formative years.

http://www.amazon.com/Bushcraft-Rich.../dp/0446308900

It was an element in some minimalist adventures I had as a teen in northern Wisconsin.

Cool thread....
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:54 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by acesandeights View Post
Smithy, you seem to know your stuff.

Thank you, sir. Like I said up front, I've been doing this a while, so I like to think my knowledge is well-earned.

Rule 1: Nature is cruel, and will kill you without a second thought. Without any thought, really, since Nature doesn't think... it just does.

A healthy respect for that fact is something anyone leaving the confines of civilization should keep in mind. Be Prepared.


Rule 2: Knowledge and skill can replace equipment and tools... the caveman started with a rock, so can we.

True, but the oft-unspoken corollary is that it takes time. A gawdawful amount of time, depending on the thing you're trying to do. That friction fire kit will work, and experts under ideal conditions make it look easy and quick in demonstrations, but it takes minutes to hours to locate a proper spindle stick, and prepare a hearthboard, assuming you have the right materials and they aren't wet... then find a tinder bundle, and adequate kindling to work from before a proper fire is sustainable and working.

My ferro rod and a wetfire cube will work in a downpour, and that little white thing will burn for 5 minutes, even floating in a cup of water. I've tested it.



So yeah, cheat when you can, be prepared to cheat if you need it NOW, but if you're into skill development, get to the point where you can create that "first fire" from nothing but natural materials. I'll grant you the knife to cut wood with, but nothing else. Who wants to see if they can do it? Post up by the end of the weekend with a picture of your kit, your coal you got with it, and "sustainable fire" (don't have to have an hour long campfire, just something that obviously isn't about to die for lack of proper craft). Video would be even better.

Owning that skill, if everything else goes to hell, makes you superman in the wild outdoors, cranks up your confidence so broken/missing/malfunctioning tools don't get you down, and let you preserve that killer attitude you need to compete with Mother Nature's desire to see you turn into compost.

Go rent Quest For Fire, especially if you've never actually sat through the whole thing, for a good idea of just how damn important this skill is. Bonus: Ron Perlman really looks cro-magnon, and you get to see Rae Dawn Chong au naturale.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:02 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Sonex522 View Post
I found this book at a used book sale when I was ten and studied it obsessively during my formative years.

http://www.amazon.com/Bushcraft-Rich.../dp/0446308900

It was an element in some minimalist adventures I had as a teen in northern Wisconsin.

Cool thread....
On the top of my stack. Excellent book, I highly reccomend it, even though a few of the concepts are outdated... there's a lot of very good foundational material in there.

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Old 11-01-2011, 07:23 PM   #50
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Water.

I have one of these, and I love it. This + nalgene = you don't have to carry water in. If you get the one with the solar panels, you can pretty much go anywhere.

Either that, or I just sit down & boil it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:48 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
Thank you, sir. Like I said up front, I've been doing this a while, so I like to think my knowledge is well-earned...

As a person that's been there, it sure seems that way, as well as can be determined online anyway. Based on what I've read, I'd be happy to be dropped out of plane anywhere in the lower 48, with you and nothing more than what either of us have in our pockets on any given day. Actually, if you can procure the plane...just kidding.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:50 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
Thank you!

There are tons of suitable containers out there for this purpose, but since you were specific in naming that type, I had to see it. Looks like a winner, nice wide mouth, easy cap, plentiful space.
And airtight/watertight! Plus, you use the spices first, then put the container to good use! Badia has a larger sized, spice container (9.5 oz.), that would work for multi day trips or for other smaller items that you want to keep dry. They're tough containers! I really like them.

I've got one of these in/on each of my packs and vehicles (along with a decent knife, of course).

I'll mail a few sticks of the fat wood to each member that has posted on this thread so far, that wants to put together an emergency fire starting kit. PM me in the next couple of days and I'll get them out to you. They're about 6"-7" long, but can be cut, split and knife shaved for fire making and/or fitting into a compact kit.

Smithy: How many Scouts do you have in your troop? I'll shoot you a supply sufficient for training and for kits that your guys can make up for themselves. PM me with your address.

My wife, Sue, and I have supported Boy and Girl Scouts, and will always do so.

Dave
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:25 PM   #53
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Very cool thread! In my youth I spent a fair amount of time in the woods, but usually at the family cabin, where rain equaled go inside and help Mom bake cookies.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:09 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Stromdog View Post
And airtight/watertight! Plus, you use the spices first, then put the container to good use! Badia has a larger sized, spice container (9.5 oz.), that would work for multi day trips or for other smaller items that you want to keep dry. They're tough containers! I really like them.

I've got one of these in/on each of my packs and vehicles (along with a decent knife, of course).

I'll mail a few sticks of the fat wood to each member that has posted on this thread so far, that wants to put together an emergency fire starting kit. PM me in the next couple of days and I'll get them out to you. They're about 6"-7" long, but can be cut, split and knife shaved for fire making and/or fitting into a compact kit.

Smithy: How many Scouts do you have in your troop? I'll shoot you a supply sufficient for training and for kits that your guys can make up for themselves. PM me with your address.

My wife, Sue, and I have supported Boy and Girl Scouts, and will always do so.

Dave

They actually sell it at Home Depot here, I just picked up a bag last month for this very purpose - it's just impossible to find in the wild. So I'm set, thanks.

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:41 PM   #55
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"white man make big fire, sit far away - Indian make small fire, sit close"

If you believe that you have never camped with an Indian

You guys are over thinking the fire starter stuff a 3'' stub of a candle will do more for you than then than any of the things you folks have listed its cheap and lasts a long time

As for knives a good pocket knife is all you need

I have watched natives head out hunting in the bush with a piece of plastic an old steak knife and a box of matches
Scott
PS for us white men If you are heading out in the hills think of your rain gear as your American Express card Don't leave home with out it
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:22 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcguide View Post
"white man make big fire, sit far away - Indian make small fire, sit close"

If you believe that you have never camped with an Indian

You guys are over thinking the fire starter stuff a 3'' stub of a candle will do more for you than then than any of the things you folks have listed its cheap and lasts a long time

As for knives a good pocket knife is all you need

I have watched natives head out hunting in the bush with a piece of plastic an old steak knife and a box of matches
Scott
PS for us white men If you are heading out in the hills think of your rain gear as your American Express card Don't leave home with out it






And we all have them. Yours is no less valid than mine, nor more truthful. I'm sure your experiences differ, and yes, one can make do with simple, minimal gear. Look up a few posts, at "Rule 2", and I readily acknowledge that skill and patience make up for high-speed gear.

Where we differ, I suppose, is that packing better gear, mixed with some skill, makes one more prepared for a great many situations where time may be short, ideal materials in short supply, or personal preference just doesn't jive with that approach.

Walk peacefully, friend.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:21 AM   #57
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From what I can remember reading they used a hollowed horn or clay vessel. The horn was layered bottom to top with sand/dirt,fine ashes,large embers and fine ashes to top it off. They would carry it and when setting up camp find tinder and use the embers to begin anew. And with the process could wander without great effort for firestarting when reaching the new encampment.
horses' hoof fungus?

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:10 AM   #58
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First of all, compliments on a great thread Smithy!

Some good stuff here, and I'll present a link here to one my favorite pieces of camping gear:

http://www.scandinavianoutdoorstore....at/retkipiilu/

This company produces forged carbon steel blades and axes in the Nordic tradition. I have this hatchet in two sizes (one was given as a gift). It weighs a bit less than two pounds but can be used to quickly process and prepare firewood.

They sharpen the blade so that it is asymmetric. I mean that one side is bevelled at a higher angle than the other. The idea is that this can be then used for different methods of shaping wood depending on what side you use for the strike. This includes facing small logs to build a proper shelter, almost like an adze in some ways.

Story has it that the head design is based on a model dug out of a burial site, from back in the ancient days when any kind of ore was too precious for the large heads made today. One thing I really like about the head design is that you can easily grip the axe and have the blade sit right in front of your knuckles. You can do very accurate cuts with it, almost like whittling or more accurate wood shaping.

FinlandThumper screwed with this post 11-02-2011 at 03:24 AM
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:15 AM   #59
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And as to making fire, I carry shredded up birch bark. A single match (or a well placed spark from a flint) will light it right up. Even starts when it's damp. I collect it whenever I walk through any area where birches have been cut recently. Normally it's considered waste these days, and so you can find gigantic slabs of bark. The thing I really like about it is that it's an all natural and readily available material. As you run low in the woods, just pick up some more! A half day in your pocket and if it was pretty wet it will get your fire started. This stuff will light like almost nothing else (that's readily available in the woods, that is!).

This is one luxury of the boreal forests, in that birch is plentiful. Birch wood also burns with a beautiful, bright flame and doesn't crack and pop.

Birch bark is also used in traditional wood craft here in Finland for making baskets and traditional shoes. In old roofs birch bark is used as a underlayment for wooden shingles on roofs, and in some cases the roofs of the old churches have lasted hundreds of years. Also it's placed between stone/concrete and wood of houses...works as well as asphalt strips. The stuff is really miraculous.

EDIT: one additional thing that works unbelievably well is dryer lint. I didn't see that mentioned but sorry if it's 205. Occasionally I grab a few handfuls if my supply of bark is running low. The fine cotton lint ignites like nobody's business.

Aside: one of the things I love about living here, being from the USA, is that Finland is one of the last places in all of Europe where you don't need to purify water. Just dip your cup and drink. Common sense of course prevails (don't drink immediately downstream of a pasture, for example) but since the country is 85%+ forest that's usually no problem.

FinlandThumper screwed with this post 11-02-2011 at 03:25 AM
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:39 AM   #60
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