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Old 11-02-2011, 05:42 AM   #61
oj may
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Birch bark in the north = fatwood to the south. Birch bark burns like a man made substance, hot and easily. And its ability to hold its structure is legendary. It is not unusual to see intact bark around a completely decayed log. The stuff IS amazing.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:16 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
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.
I've bee to Lahti & Helsinki, and sorely regretted not getting to go camping out there. The drive from Helsinki to Lahti was *breathtaking*.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:01 AM   #63
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Although there are a myriad of fire making philosophies we have covered a few good one.

Water. Number 2 on my list in most situations after shelter. What are we doing for clean water?

I have a Sweetwater microfilter. Never failed and it's 12 years old. Filters are expensive but last with proper care. The one I have doesn't filter viruses and was advised that is unnecessary where I travel. Easy upgrade should I decide to travel where it's good practice. I also carry good old iodine tablets just in case.

I did an Outward Bound type deal when 16 years old as the parents were tired of my shit. Southern Utah canyonlands. Kinda dry. We were instructed on how to survive in desperate situations and turned loose in groups of three. I do not believe they're allowed to do this anymore. We made solar stills and had to use it for 2 days. Not much water but clean and dependable. I still carry plastic sheeting/rubber hose for that and to collect dew and rain water should things become difficult.

Generally where I travel water is never to far away. Most of my backcountry adventures are fly fishing for trout. Lush moist forests with plenty of fast running cold water. So other than the corrective trip when I was a kid sourcing is no problem so my biggest concern is bacterial contamination. However I am prepared to find safe water when it all goes wrong.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:15 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
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.
Must be why all the Finns settled near where I live (Tapiola, MI)

Maybe I'm just lucky or maybe I have an iron gut or something- but I *never* purify Lake Superior water and there's also usually no shortage of water sources that haven't had much of an opportunity to flow through animal shit.

Someday, I'm sure I'm going to have a story about That Time I Almost Died, but so far, so good.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:25 AM   #65
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When we were in Quetico, we did not filter water. In the Bob Marshall Wilderness, we drank spring water from the source, same on West Elk Mountain, Co.
Most other places, we filter.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:34 AM   #66
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One source of clean drinking water in the southern woods is muscadine grape vines. They are everywhere in hardwood forests and to a lesser degree in pine forests. Just find one with a downward facing curve, cut that curve out, turn it on end and water (actually sap) will run out. The bigger the vine the more water you get.

I have a healthy fear of drinking anything not purified after coming very close to death from an e-Coli infection. But I have used muscadine vines to drink hundreds of times. Some people hate the taste. Especially when they see what it looks like when the saps starts to dry. But to me it tastes like green Gatorade.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:22 PM   #67
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There's one place in particular I've been drinking the water untreated for years. Judy Springs in the Monongahela Forest. An ancient iron pipe comes from the mountainside with sweet water all the time. My pack is always heavier coming out than going in.

Why I go to Judy Springs.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:28 PM   #68
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Quote:
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This thread has really taken off!

Here's a pic of my lightweight, fire starting kit.

[IMG][/IMG]

It's an empty 2 oz. plastic Badia brand seasoning bottle filled with Vaseline soaked, cotton dryer lint. Wrapped around it (using a slice from a bicycle inner tube), are a few sticks of fatwood, a firesteel and a striker. The whole thing weighs 3.5 oz. A few feather sticks later and "Viola", the heat is on.

I use a similar method. Though I have never tried the fatwood.

I get my wife to save the dryer lint each time she does laundry. I take a small amount and put some petroeum jelly on it in cotton ball sized amounts. I use an old snap lid pill bottle to store them. A few sparks off of the fire steel and you have a good steady flame that burns for about 3 minutes by itself.

In my emergency kit, I take some of what I mentioned above and vacuum seal it in a small bag. That way it stores indefinitely and doesn't take up hardly any room.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:24 PM   #69
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For the dryer lint stuff, times have a' changed for the most part. A lot of fabrics now have been treated with fire retardants and in addition you have synthetic fabrics as well, none of which burn that well.

For made-at-home tinder, I've yet to find something better than cotton balls with vaseline rubbed into them.


Anyway, there is an outdoor school in the St Louis area that has been teaching survival skills for 25+ years, would there be 6-15 people here interested in having an ADV-ers only 2-3 day class?
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #70
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I was feeling ill when I got up this morning, so I called in sick and slept a good chunk of the day.

I'm glad this thread is still going strong. Thank you all.


I love birch bark, and wood, but it's not common here in the DC area. I have the (dis)pleasure of trying to practice bushcraft in a part of the country that has been picked over, industrialized, and over-used, for the better part of 400 years now. It complicates my water situation, too, since there's nothing at all trustworthy about any source here, whether it's intense agriculture, chemical waste, or just the runoff from endless suburbia... everything gets filtered or boiled. I know people who've used steripens on upper Potomac water, with no ill effects, but I'm not sure I trust it. It's the heavy metals now, in addition to biologicals, that I have to worry about.

My Katydyn Mini has a 0.2 micron ceramic filter with silver, good against bacteria and protozoa, and the whole thing only weighs 8 ounces. Yes, the filters are fragile and expensive, but for 2,000 gallons of trustworthy water, it's worth it to me to carry.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:42 PM   #71
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I wonder if modern dryer lint burns well because of all the nylon, elastic, and other synthetics in clothing beyond the cotton.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:48 PM   #72
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I wonder if modern dryer lint burns well because of all the nylon, elastic, and other synthetics in clothing beyond the cotton.
The simple answer is no it does not. As I mentioned above, not only the synthetics but cotton, especially pajamas, often has fire retardants applied and while the stuff may still burn it is more of a smoulder. Much better is cotton balls with some vaseline kneaded into it. The best way I've ever heard it described it to make it into "Don King hair" and it will get alight with one flash of a fire steel. For regular flint and steel I've yet to find anything better than fine steel wool.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:59 PM   #73
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Char cloth.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:21 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey View Post
For the dryer lint stuff, times have a' changed for the most part. A lot of fabrics now have been treated with fire retardants and in addition you have synthetic fabrics as well, none of which burn that well.

For made-at-home tinder, I've yet to find something better than cotton balls with vaseline rubbed into them.


Anyway, there is an outdoor school in the St Louis area that has been teaching survival skills for 25+ years, would there be 6-15 people here interested in having an ADV-ers only 2-3 day class?
I would be interested, depending on cost & when. Keep us posted.

Most of the lint around our house is from cotton towels. But I agree cotton balls are great as well.

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Old 11-02-2011, 08:37 PM   #75
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"and have too many politics floating like scum just above the rich soup of knowledge I'm really after." quote Smithy

You definitely have a way with words!

My surburbanized friends all call me "McGyver" because of my jury rigging/camping skills.

But I got nothing next to you folks, think I'll hang around and see what I can learn.

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