Fieldcraft Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

TresMon

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I have often chuckled at many writers and other "professional woodsmen" who teach and talk about "wilderness survival." They tell you to pull out your knife and do this,that & cut the string so long and tie it here & there. I get the deer in the head lights look when I ask “where did the knife and string come from?”

Later they'll certainly speak of snares and tell you to make an end loop in the wire about the size of a BB. Pass the other end through forming a loop about the size of a three fingered fist and stake it on a rabbit run, about two fingers high off the ground.

I ask, “were did the wire come from?” OH! My "survival kit" Wow. I did not think of that! But then <span style="font-style: italic">I think</span> if I got para-cord, a knife, wire, a water bottle, a bandanna, a Power Bar, Iodine tabs and all the other classics in the timeless survial kit, I'm really not surviving, I'm merely on a unplanned, bonus camp out. (All aboard!)

Sure if the chips are down I hope a UPS Jet falls out of the sky near me that was loaded with goods headed for campmor.com, but I don't count on it nor do I learn survival skills form a take _____ out of your handy dandy kit. I like me too much, and especially love my family & friends that I take into the wilderness far too much to make such assumptive assumptions.

I learn survival skills from a "naked in the wilderness" point of view. That is in the mindset that for whatever reason- you find yourself in a survival situation WITH NOTHING. If you learn to deal, cope and overcome with nothing, -NO-THING- (clothing allowed there Mr. paisty white neanderthal) other than what you take from the landscape, you'll feel like you got a Walmart Super-Center in your pocket if you got your “kit” when the chips really are down. But what if your kit is not allowed? Well, you still got “naked” skills; no one ever, anywhere, can take your Naked knowledge – the most basic knowledge of living- regardless, away from you.

So how about a little story? Maybe it will spike interest around here in both Operators & Civvys to TRULY rethink their preparedness.

Twice or three times I had to fly COMMERCIAL to an AO in a different overseas countries. It was after 9/11 and all the associated security upgrades. It occurred to me I was flying over the big pond as well as diverse terrain. A whole lot of it. For a long time.

And airplains DO crash. Have you ever read the book about the crash in the Andes Mountains or the associated move entitled "Alive"? Not to mention I have over a decade experience in Aircraft based Search & Rescue and have helped haul out twisted & charred bodies. So I did put me together a little kit for my long high ride.

In my carry on luggage I had me a lighter as well as a knife. I felt more prepared with those two items; I figured if I actually did live through augering in from 30,000 I might not feel so perky and a few items I figured might make things more luxurious. I know, even I can succumb to creature comforts at times.

I had some other carefully selected items with me that seem ordinary enough to the casual observer that are actually quite versitle. Items such as a little container of apple cider vinegar. It's basically a medicine chest if known how to use it internally as well as topically. I had honey as well. The Romans used to smear it in sword wounds & still today I read it is applied at closure during some specific modern surgeries as it is a natural anti-microbial. It's pretty good in coffee to! These are but a few things that were carefully selected for my carry-on.

So you call BS! How did I get my knife and lighter on board? Well I ran my carry-on day pack right through X-ray and off my merry way I went. US Marshall? Nope- I walked on board as a commoner just like you do.

My knife was a chunk off flatish Obsidian about the size of a box of playing cards, and I had with it an oblong rock roughly the size of a domino. They let me walk right on with my two pet rocks.

Perhaps it never occured to the security that I could take my little hammer stone and flake (knap) my piece of obsidian in a wicked sharp blade in short order. Obsidian happens to make the sharpest cutting edge to date on planet earth. It's used in modern surgery, etc. When viewed under a scanning electron microscope beside a scalpel, the OB looks like a sharp edge and the scalpel looks like a dull pruning saw. But hey, I was happy to be just a weird dude with my pets rocks in my carry-on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsidian

And my lighter: Ah- those two little sticks. Odd one there. They made us pitch our ink pens but let my two little 8 inch long sticks go right on through the X-ray, and right on the plane. Does wood show up on X-ray? I dunno but in any event it was evidently deemed to be non-threatening items in “pet-rock weirdo’s” bag.

MY sticks were a seasoned and tuned hand-drill set. I'm a world class hand driller and can when in <span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="text-decoration: underline"></span>good</span> drillin shape go from scratch to having produced a sizeable hot burning ember in less than 15 seconds.(not a typo. WELL less than half of that even is my all time personal record) Making a burning ember in a minute or two (MAX) is everyday ordinary. Drop said ember in fuzzy fiber, natural or synthetic or in a wad of chicks long hair (ask, don't grab) and poof you got yourself fire.

So yeah, At most I got an odd look or two, but the airlines gave me special treatment and permitted little ol me to have my very basic survival kit on-board.

-The end- of the story. But I have spoken of some primitive skills that can be mastered and used effectively to get by when a person trains from a naked into the wilderness mindset. And then- the landscape IS your “kit.” And the comical part is when you train with that focus and that level you have to dot a lot more i’s and cross more t’s than the guy that trains with modern kit. And surprisingly enough sooner than you think you’ll be able to out woodsman the equipped guy, with even you still taking from the landscape! Why? Because you OWN the knowledge. He (as in –you- & 99.99% of others) that walk into a natural landscape whether it be mountain, prairie, swamp or (future) decimated suburb take your general load of gear, know the basics of it and are comforted with the fact that you have ”what you need” though you have mastered none of it’s technique or uses WHEN EVERYTHING IS AGAINST YOU. So what do I mean by OWNING knowledge of an item or task? How do you come to OWN knowledge? Well that can be the next little story preceding my basic Naked into the Wilderness instructionals if anyone is interested in my producing them in similar format to what I wrote in the reloading section recently. Lemme know if there is interest.
 
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JCH

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I would just rub my Genie lamp and make a wish
grin.gif
 

scaxeman

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Sounds interesting!

What are you using for a "natural" bowstring? I have made plenty of homemade natural fiber rope, and while strong (supports my 250# weight) it does not stand up well to the stress of drilling. Unless your first action upon being stranded is to kill something and use animal hide/sinew as bowstring. As I am lazy, my bootlace most often gets the job!

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">airplains DO crash. Have you ever read the book about the crash in the Andes Mountains or the associated move entitled "Alive"?
</div></div>

To be fair, think of the profusion of tools you could make from a junked (and partially disassembled) airliner. (the book was VASTLY better than the movie)

Darrell
 

TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Yes a crashed airliner is nearly a super walmart worth of use able materials.

I don't bow drill. In bow drilling you have to be all hunkered down, waded up, have a string, keep the spindle from popping out, occasionaly give away your position with God awful squeaking (push down harder- your spindle is glazed over causing the squeak) and still breath- while all waded up & hunkered down. Nor does a bow drill set fit neatly in a quiver like a hand drill set does. And it never causes me to have to walk around with a lace less boot. (Not giving you a hard time bro! Just giving supporting points for all readers!)

Cordage made from natural fiber works fine for a bow drill string. The problem is 1. people use a bow that is way to big, and two they tend to keep the bow running level, which makes the string constantly abrade itself. If you will use a short little bow and keep it canted, while the string will travel up & down your spindle, it will not abrade itself.

I hand drill. Two nice small compact pieces of wood. It's kinda like an englishman sipping tea, with bow drilling being two sweaty ogres going at it in a WWF cage match.



 

badbot

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I like this stuff.
I hope they don't make you change to
REALimitationSurvivalist
 

hankpac

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I live and travel in sparsely settled country, man y of the roads get maybe one or two cars per hour. I travel in all kinds of weather. I have lived in this type of country all my life.
the more aged I get the less able I am to glean my needed items for survival from the great outdoors, and the more I prefer to keep a kitted-out couple of packs in my truck. I can change into severe weather clothing, that will allow me to work in a blizzard, keeping dry and warm, allowing me to either put on chains, dig out a stuck wheel, or put up a shelter and cook a meal.
A "survival" class I once attended, taught by a "renown" survival instructor, dealt with all the usual techniques, including identifying edible plants and bugs, etc, and how to shelter, orient, etc, etc, etc. During the Q and A session, one smart-ass asked the instructor "Sir, If you were dropped plumb nekkid on top of Mt Whitney in the middle of a storm, in the middle of winter, what would you do?" He looked at him a long second, and replied "I would die. Next question."
So go ahead and chew the inner bark of a pine tree, or make a rope out of lianas, but I prefer to have a jump kit. Oh, yes, I have a pile of obsidian in my back yard, and can knap a blade pretty quickly, but hunkered under a tree in a blowing snow storm, who the hell wants to start from scratch?
Just my two cents.
 

scaxeman

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">which makes the string constantly abrade itself.
</div></div>

Yep, that's the issue I had!

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I hand drill. Two nice small compact pieces of wood. It's kinda like an englishman sipping tea, with bow drilling being two sweaty ogres going at it in a WWF cage match.
</div></div>

THERE is an analogy I hadn't heard before... LOL

The hand drills I've seen tended to be considerably longer (16" +)
 

scaxeman

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: hankpac</div><div class="ubbcode-body">hunkered under a tree in a blowing snow storm, who the hell wants to start from scratch?
</div></div>

Truth there... my day pack has all sorts of magnesium flint-y sorts of lighters in it, as well as a little ziplok of clothes drier lint :)

It's fun either way
 

lovetsx

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Yes! keep them coming. I learn something with each one you write. I love flintknapping. Great skill. I often make camp fires the Indian way on the beaches on the river. A crowd always forms and next people start betting that I can't do it. Then they are in awe like it was magic...

Indians have been using your technique for thousands of year.

Please educate us in the forgotten ancient arts...
 

TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Hankpac,

We suffer only form differing terminology.

I'm writing about an extreme completely blind side out of the ordinary scenario. If you FREQUENTLY travel "in all types of weather" deal with blizzards and chain and dig the tires, that is not a survival situation nor is your gear survival gear. Rather they are tools for you typical day, just as a attache case and a laptop are to a wall street broker for his typical day.

What I address were if you were driving your equipped truck across a frozen remote lake and it broke through and sank out of site. You find yourself in the middle of nowhere with much of nothing. It's then that point & time you had betterr damn well have "naked" skill.

and NOBODY -wants- to start naked, but there are MANY everyday folk walking around today that would be dead if they had a "kit" mentality & practice only.

Per your Obsidian- if you choose to walk through a metal detector and go far far away empty handed, thats your deal. I'd rather AT LEAST have obsidian than be empty handed.

you take me out of context.


Regards sir.

Everyone- perhaps I should have clearly said keep and be vigilant about having a kit on you. But be able to manage WITHOUT it because MURPHY can and does pop up uninvited- and he is a yearly killer.

D BUELL:
yes, typical hand drills are a good 18-36." Kinda neat: the Austrailian Abos are reported to have used 4 & 5 foot hand drills. They would stand on the fire board and drill standing upright!

LOVetsx:
Cool stuff man and thanks for your gracious words!
 

TLong

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I have done the bow drill technique and the one where you slide a stick on a flat, grooved piece of stick until you get an ember. The bow drill is definately a shit-ton faster...but I like the idea of the fire piston. I haven't used one yet, but it seems pretty straight forward and reliable. Have any of you ever experimented with them, and why not take it on flights, as you can wear it around your neck, versus trying to find your luggage if the plane were to go down?
 

Tomcat

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I've tried making fire by rugging two sticks, and tried making a bow - I really made a serious effort. No luck, I would have froze or had to eat my poptarts cold.
My hats off to those who can do it - for sure that is one difficult task. I fared worse than Tom Hanks in that move where the plane crashes. As for me, I always have a Bic lighter in my packs.
 

TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness


Actually Tom I have never tried it but I have had "woodsmen" (multiple) tell me that hand drill/ friction fire is merely lore, and does not work. The reason they say is that they have chucked the stuff in a drill press and "wore it out!" I can only offer that perhaps it's the reversing of direction...?

"Sliding a stick on another grooved stick" is Fire Plow..

Yeah- fire pistons are great- when well tuned. What happens when your piston ring(s) fail? I have made fire pistons and used/demo'd them. But they are hateful as all get out to make in the wilds and especially to maintain.

Bic lighters are prone to fail when moisture invades, not to metion running out of fluid. What happens when your loose your pack and your bic? Or it gets cracked? or the flint wears out? or you loose it? or it floats out of your pocket when crossing the river?:
Stay at it with friction fire, you'll get it.

 
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DaveV

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

TresMon, I like your perspective. The best piece of kit one has is the 3 pounds of gray matter between the ears... if used properly.
 
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TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness



Dave X- EXACTLY! you get it.

One of my favorite quotes is "The more you carry in your head the less you'll HAVE to carry on your back."
 

pale horse

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tres even more food for thought hey make me a kit or let me know where you got the two types of rock very nice many time I have gotten stinking wet & muddy and the rub the sticks may not work so well I like the fatwood dust they sell the yuppie campers and use advil bottles stuffed with cotton drenched in vasaline but dont think they will let you on board a plane I got hands wiped by tsa and stated I was glad I hand not reloaded ammo the night befor but the two ar -15 lowers and hand gun and 50 bmg ammo was ok went tru no prob Im going back to minn after 35 year to visit In sending a fighting knife by mail as tsa will take but can bring my handgun tru checked I wonder where the get there rule book from they thought my hienkin pony keg could be a bomb in anch thank god they at last min let take it hope you make it up we need real guys like you to teach class to the droves of sheep we have moving up here. dead fall traps work pretty good if you do it right to snare well you must be a 80 year old native lady they how! or someone who has trapped & know its hard as hell to snare critters and you must know the animals in your sector well.I and my 11 year old are going to try make fire from basic items you got me reeled in now the natives here strip poplar bark and make a tea for head ach shitting your self bad and have a fire eat charcol spruch pitch in cuts heal faster no infection and hold the wound closed if deep and porkipines are easy pray in need of meat I will not get into snaring moose bear and other game we use rawhide or babish I to carry slit baby walrus hide for my snares the shit is deep I will stop looke to local native culture in areas ps 100 miles from any town cut my foot with a ax thats where I was told the spruce pitch trick again 89 year indian grama sharp as hell I kid you not and keeps real good track of the hot pretty grand and great grand hot chicks living with her
 

TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness


Pale,

Probably you easiest source for Obsidian is a pet store in town. It is sold a decorative rocks for people to put in their fancy fish tanks. (Oh crap, did I just give away some urban survival info totally for free??) any other solid small slick stone from a river will make a nice hammer stone. (antler as well as copper works good too)

Yes sir pitch of both the spruce & pine is a great adhesive, hot glue as well as great medically for wounds.

I read that porcupine there makes for easy meat, in the lower 48 we got opossum, skunk and rabbit readily available to the trap.

And your right again. Making a paisty drink out of powdered charcoal(called a "slurry") from the fire is a good treatment for diarrhea.

Keep at it bro, and let me know of any good jobs availible!

Tres
 

TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness


A A ferrocerium rod is the bomb. It's basically a man made flint rod and magnesium- all in one rod. I got a big one in my "gun purse" (gun bag/mini bug out bag) that is always in the vehicle I'm in.
 

dhdoyle

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Once upon a time, 30+ years ago, I and 3 other college kids went out on a weekend winter hike. We went out with full backpacks and on early Sunday morning, the weather warmed up to a freezing rain. Rain was in the air, ice was on our packs and clothing. We all developed hypothermia, got really stupid and almost turned a simple hike into a disaster. I learned:
1. All the gear in a full backpack isn't nearly as important as the right clothing.
2. Down jackets are about as warm as a windbreaker when they get wet.

In the intervening years, I have learned:
3. Here in Wyoming, I never drive out of town without wearing (or packing) the clothes that I would want if I had to hike for a while.
4. Chemical handwarmer packs are golden.
5. Most outdoors hiking and camping pants are cotton and still suck (heat) when they get wet. What ever happened to wool?
6. Base layer undies are light, cheap insurance in any weather.
7. Don't carry a "survival kit". Get in the habit of always having the right tools for the occasion on your person.
8. I always have 3 knives, a flashlight, and fire making stuff on my person - even in my office. I carry a Spyderco and a mini Swiss Army knife in my pockets. My key ring has a Swisstech utility key (which is frequently missed by airline screeners), a metal match, and a Photon LED flashlight. My briefcase or laptop bag has my Surefire, my Leatherman, a Victorinox Huntsman, extra batteries, and other stuff. (Blades go in checked luggage when I fly.) My hiking jacket pocket contains a ziplock bag with a compass, lots of fire making stuff, space blanket, meds, wire saw, and other stuff. The point is that I always have something on me. I intend never to say, "I wish I had brought my survival kit".

Like the other poster, I realized that at age 52, if I'm stranded someplace with empty pockets, I'm likely to die.
 

TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness


Chapter three scheduled for upload late tomorrow!

Thanks.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I've read some books and spent some time in the woods. Mostly Scout stuff, off and on for a couple of score years. Enough to know I'm no match for the serious ends of these challenges.

Still, I enjoy the mental part of the challenges, the special skills, and the tricks and toys that really have little place elsewhere.

I like the traditional and perhaps archaic approaches, ala Dan Beard, et. al. Back when I had my first Scout troop, I taught my boys the things I'd learned back in the 1950's and 1960's, from some of the really older timers. Homemade cordage, Scout staves and Scout sheets, a tarp and an Ely frame, a diamond hitch. That sort of stuff.

As I like to say about traditional shooting methods, the old stuff still works.

These days, I'm winding down my Scouting participation; time for younger heads, backs, and hands. I'm finding that although it can be sorta heartwarming to be treated like a treasured fossil, it can also be a tad frustrating.

Maybe I'm not quite ready for that 'Scoutmaster Emeritus' slot just yet...

Greg
 

TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

MR.L, ; ]

Old dudes did not get old by being stupid. I'm very wary of old dudes.

A compliment,
T
 

MistWolf

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">MR.L, ; ]

Old dudes did not get old by being stupid. I'm very wary of old dudes.

A compliment,
T </div></div>I didn't get to be my age by being stupid. I got to be my age by surviving being stupid!
laugh.gif
 

whippet

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all respect to you tresmon awesome gesture to the snipers hide community and all others who have put positive input the thread, especially Greg L and dhdoyle you have opened my 3 pounds of grey matter in a wonderful way
 

ArcticLight

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Crazy Horse</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Why dont you read "Into the Wild" ....Life sucks but go try the alaskan outback </div></div>

Been there, done that.

Alaska, no matter how much snow, has DRY grass underneath the snow, easy to find.

You sleep under trees w here the relative ground temp is 18 degrees vs the air temp of -30.

For fires, in WA state (Wet) or Alaska, grab a cattail, shred it, put some pine sap in it, grab a couple of rocks, different rocks and bang those suckers together...:)

Then break out the trusty 1.5" long bic lighter you always keep in your upper right pocket and light the damn thing
smile.gif


Unless I'm naked I have a lighter on me at all times.

Cedar trees - fallen down, even in a rain forest, have "Punk" wood under the roots (hence the fallen down part). You dig in and grab some of that and shred it up and it lights HOT and QUICK.

Been to a lot of survival schools, 80% of what I learned didn't stick, the other 20% I've used and verified it works (Mostly just for fun).

Good to always get other input though, even on Survivor man or Bear Grilles, you can learn SOMETHING...

I like Dual Survival as well, they seem pretty real.
 

E3C3H3O3

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Actually Tom I have never tried it but I have had "woodsmen" (multiple) tell me that hand drill/ friction fire is merely lore, and does not work. The reason they say is that they have chucked the stuff in a drill press and "wore it out!" I can only offer that perhaps it's the reversing of direction...?

</div></div>

They probably didn't give it any air to breathe in, like a little space or crack underneath the drillspot to allow the "spark" to catch and also no fuel for the spark to then catch fire
 

TresMon

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: E3C3H3O3</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Actually Tom I have never tried it but I have had "woodsmen" (multiple) tell me that hand drill/ friction fire is merely lore, and does not work. The reason they say is that they have chucked the stuff in a drill press and "wore it out!" I can only offer that perhaps it's the reversing of direction...?

</div></div>

They probably didn't give it any air to breathe in, like a little space or crack underneath the drillspot to allow the "spark" to catch and also no fuel for the spark to then catch fire </div></div>

The ol "it don't work cause it don't work in a drill press" spill. Heard it many times over the years. I and my buddies believe it doesn't work in a drill or drill press because- just as was stated- their is not the rapid reversing of direction cycles. Heat is not the only ticket. FINELY eroded wood fiber is equally as important as heat. The reversing of direction exponentially increases heat and abrasion.

Maybe when I get fully over this flu I'll put up a video proving it works. Actually come to think of it I bet there are many on YouTube.
 

caustic

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Bow and drill- It's not about spark it's about making an ember with the fine dust created in the drilling process, most of the problems people have with this method is the material that they are using has too high a moisture content or high resin, there are ways to help with this for example do not lift the drill from the socket ever during the attempt, go slow at first just till smoke starts then stop (leave drill in socket, repeat 3 or 4 or 5 + times until the notch in the fire board has allot of fine black or dark brown dust in it then go to town, do not stop (I've found that blowing a little at the notch helps, if not only to keep the smoke from your eyes) when you think you can go no more with the bow dig a little deeper and go some more. Then stop, do not just lift the drill half hazardly out of the socket, lift it slowly, there should be a wisp of smoke emitting from the pile of dust, in the middle there will be an ember blow gently, slowly allow the ember to grow on its own. It is totally doable I've done it many times and have shown others how to do it. material is key, dry cedar is by far the easiest, Aspin is ok too.
 

caustic

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Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Tres - for your hand drill what wood are you using, I've had no luck with this method. Or at teast with the natural materials avaliable to me in Manitoba, Canada.
 

JBHelix

Private
Minuteman
Jan 4, 2011
16
0
42
WA
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I've served as a SAR volunteer for 8 years now and helped recover the corpses of plenty of folks that died from exposure. I too concentrate on skills but I'd never discount having the right tools on hand. Starting from scratch sucks!

I had an interesting survival story come up at work today. One of my co workers was relating that while in a small boat about a mile off shore near the bay islands of Honduras he encountered a whale shark that became interested in his boat. One of the locals in the bow decided it was a good idea to reach out and grab the dorsal fin of the great fish. In Honduras the locals call a sharks dorsal fin a "copper knife." Anyway he said the whale shark didn't like being grabbed and gave the boat a swat with it's tail, nearly overturning it. So I asked my friend, did you have your dive gear on board? "yes" he said. and I asked "was your BC (buoyancy controller) inflated or empty" "Empty" he said. with a funny look. "It's really awkward to get on with air in it." "True" I said but it's harder to get on when your boat and your dive gear is on the bottom and you are treading water.

My point is we often have opportunities to set ourselves up for success that we do not take. The old adage that no one plans to fail they simply fail to plan is absolutely true. One skill I practice on a regular basis is maintaining some basic equipment in my vehicle that could be used to self rescue. There is nothing wrong with being equipped when the fecal matter impacts a rotating blade at high speed.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
120
NW USA
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness


JB,

Like me i bet you have found in SAR it normally takes a woodsman two serious mistakes to get into trouble. Often he can get away with three. Sometimes 1 major mistake will get him in trouble (falling into frigid water, etc.) but generally he can make two major mistakes and be okay. Your exactly right, maintenance of basic gear and planning go a long way!
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
120
NW USA
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness


Caustic,

Keep at it, you'll get it. Once you get hand drill down pat you'll snicker at bow drillers.
I say that hand drilling is like an english man sipping tea, and bow drilling is like two sweaty ogres going at it in a wrestling cage match!

My favorite material in the states is a Horse weed stalk. Weed Stalks work the best for hand drill spindles.

H.weed on cedar works fine. HW on poplar, cotton wood or Paw-paw works GREAT.

Golden rod stalk works on all the above woods.

River cane/bamboo works on cedar, and other slightly harder woods but it's labor intensive comparatively.

I like my drills to be about the diameter of a modern arrow shaft.

I have gotten many coals using dead/dry cat tail stalks on yucca stalk fire boards but that is world class as the materials are quite soft & flimsy. It requires 100% finesse and technique. Any brut strength will destroy the board & drill or both.

Many spindles work well on yucca stalk. But yucca is soft and you'll drill through quick and forever be whittling notches.

Don't give up!
Tres
 

JBHelix

Private
Minuteman
Jan 4, 2011
16
0
42
WA
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Tres, Very true it is often a number of mistakes that add up to an emergency. I've often brought up this point for people who insist on traveling the back country alone. then over the last few years with no-one that wanted to hunt in my immediate circle of friends and family I found myself on several solo hunting trips. For some reason i started to think my sage advice didn't apply to me.

This Last season I had two mistakes at once and I absolutely knew one more would have been disasterous. I was hiking off trail by my self mistake #1. I had circled back towards my truck through an area that I knew would be difficult to move through but thought it would be ok. thin when I got to the creek bed that I thought would be an easy walk back to my truck the bank was about an eight foot drop and then was blocked by a 6 foot diameter tree on it's side. while i stood there and surveyed the mess I had gotten into and contemplated turning back the way I had come mt foot punched through the bank. Turns out it was severley undercut. I had a grip on one of my treking poles. that was the only thing that saved me from real injury. I ended up laying on my back with my feet up in the air in a very tight spot between the bank and that large fallen tree. I had to get out of my pack and right myself then get over the log and into the creek bed.

At that point I was exactly where i did not want to end up. I threw my gear on a gravel bar and sat down to get my breath back, assess injuries and ended up having a snack. A little boost to the blood sugar makes a lot of difference.

After all that I started looking for my way out of the creek. as I looked around I was not encouraged. My choices were sit there and freeze to death when it got dark, or climb some hairy mess and risk more injury. I ended up gloving up and stowing all my gear in or strapped to my pack and climbed my way out over a large mass of frost covered avalanche debris that had created a dam just upstream of where I had fallen, I had to be extremely cautious and test every hold. I knew that another fall in this situation could be the end of me but considering all my choices it was the only one that had a chance. 20 minutes later I had tossed my pack in the back of my truck and headed on.
 

krazyk

Private
Minuteman
Sep 9, 2010
0
0
56
california, usa
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Tres,
Please post it. I enjoy reading your posts. Most detailed and informative. If I lived closer I would love to pick your brain.
cheers
Karl
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
120
NW USA
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness


Thanks for the input everyone. I'm trying to get the next series of this chapter finished and up. In the past I had used this and a few other websites to post up my articles on the web, but alas they will have a final home on my own website which is currently live but far from finished or perfected. It was launched but a week ago. Also I'm hopefully only a couple months away from restarting my wilderness training classes I used to offer.

WildernessMeans.com
 

Indypendent

Just a dude
Full Member
Minuteman
Nov 8, 2009
158
1
47
Yuma, Arizona, USA
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I always wonder why so many survival experts teach water/food/fire so early and so often. What about shelter, why isn't that near the top of the priority list?
 

Hink

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Oct 2, 2006
235
1
Amarillo Texas
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I think it depends on where a person may be when they realize they're lost and have to depend on themselves for their own survival.

Most likely scenario -- the environment is survivable, but priorities are fire, water, food, and shelter; in that order. Now, were a person to get lost way up north where it's colder than cold in the winter, then a shelter would be high on the list, followed by fire, water, and food; in that order. Take into account what's happening, and react first. Be proactive later, once the necessities are taken care of.
 

hankpac

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

I don't intend to hijack this thread, but thought a short story would help illustrate how a sudden change in fortune can take a mostly prepared well equipped and otherwise outdoors suited person, directly into emergency land.
I was intending to hike upstream on the New River in Northern CA.
I got dropped off at Grey's Falls Campground on CA highway 299.
This is located on the Trinity River, and several hundred yards upstream is where the New River joins. Nearby is a trail head that goes to a light suspension bridge. This bridge is no longer there. It was suspended on heavy cables, too high at the towers to reach out for a steadying hand, and too wide to walk in the center and reach either side. It was Old. The boards were 2x12's. In some spots the boards would lift and flap at one end or the other as the bridge moved in the wind or from being walked on. it undulated and swayed over 100 feet from the water. It was so high, you could barely hear the water flowing over the rocks below.
I had walked this bridge before, It had a very steep approach on the campground side, and ended on a cliff at the other side. From there the trail went upstream from with the wall of the cliff brushing the top of my pack frame, and the water side, dropping off below me to the rocks below. About 2 feet wide at best, about 200 yards to the corner where the New River joined.
I was about 23, fit, and an experienced backpacker, mountaineer and general outdoorsman. This wasn't my first "Indiana Jones type" bridge. I carried about 60 pounds of gear in an external frame pack. Every needful thing.
The planks of this bridge were extremely dry and brittle. Almost like balsa wood. If one walked in the exact middle one could be right over the stringers that ran the entire length of the bridge, giving it extra support.
As I trudged across the bridge I could see the river below between the planks. A sudden gust of wind moved the bridge, and I stepped wide as a result. My foot landed square on a 2x12, and simply passed through. Crack.
Next thing I knew I was flat on my face, my right leg shoved all the way to my groin, through the shattered remains of the plank, the splintered ends digging into my upper thigh. My left leg was folded up underneath me, my knee right next to my face. The pack was dumped over my head, holding me down. I was STUCK!
The worst part of all this was I couldn't take a deep breath. I had only a short time to solve this or I would suffocate.
One eye was pressed against the decking. I could see the splintered pieces of board tumbling to the rocks, for quite a few seconds.
"OK" I thought. I gotta do something. I shrugged the pack and got my arms under me. I could barely feel the quick release tab but I got ahold of it and popped the right side shoulder strap. that allowed me to push up a bit, and tumble the pack off of my head and shoulders.
Phew I could now breath at least. I rolled part way to my right, with the splinters digging into my leg this was not easy.
My left knee was still super-flexed under me, so I was really in pain from that too.
The board that held my right leg was really gouging me every time I tried any movement at all. Blood was running down my leg soaking my sock.
I reached down to feel around down there, and found I could push some of the splintered ends downward and break them off. A little at a time, I did so, eventually getting enough of them away from the inside of my thigh, to allow me to move up a bit. I realized that in spite of getting rid of the weight on my head and shoulders, I was still bunched up enough to severely interfere with my breathing. I was getting weaker, and light headed in a more rapid pace now. My efforts to free my right leg were getting quite feeble.
Eventually I reached a point where the only splinters holding my leg were on the outside aspect, and were mostly buried in the rumpled up folds of the leg of my shorts. I rolled to my right a bit, hoping that further boards didn't break under me, and was able finally to free my left leg. My right leg still dangled below the decking.
Straightening out my left leg after being pinned under me for almost 15 minutes or so was pure agony. I finally got it straightened out, and lay there a few minutes face down, catching my breath, and being grateful for the relief. I could feel the blood trickling down my right leg, but the urgency was certainly less now.
After resting a few minutes, I rolled partly on my left side, and gradually pulled my right leg out of the hole. I pulled my neckerchief off and put it against my thigh where I had been gouged. I rolled over on my back and just lay there for over an hour gathering the strength to get up, and drag my pack off the bridge. After I sat up and dressed my wounds, I continued my trip, up stream, then up the New River, and came back out a week later. The hole was still there, unrepaired.
The bridge was replaced a few years later by a cable car, locked up by the Forest Service.
Lessons learned? Walk the center and stay in the center of the bridge. No matter how much gear you have with you, it might hinder you more than help you. You might need NONE of it to extricate yourself from whatever situation you are in. Be able to think rapidly and extricate YOURSELF from any given situation, don't count on someone coming along.
 

fox123108

Private
Minuteman
Oct 19, 2011
3
0
38
Marietta, Georgia
Re: Naked into the wilderness:true preparedness

Wise words in the entire post and everyone has their own thoughts and ideas. While some people will disagree with who's right or wrong when it comes to "wilderness survival", I think most will agree that being prepared is what it's all about. Personally I try to learn as much as I can about any area that I will be going to for any length of time. Everything from climate, terrain, flora and fauna, even an extended weather pattern will be researched in some form to give me a better idea of what to look forward to. One thing I always do when going outdoors is to take my "pocket pals", basically 5 items that I always take with me in unfamiliar territory.

As the name implies, these 5 items easily fit into most any pocket and can hardly be noticed, but can really help when you need them. Again, this is only my thoughts and opinion. Bottom line is if you have a few basics along with a little know-how, the odds can be in your favor just a little more.