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What I learned from camping in the wilderness for five days....

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posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by Cariaddi
 


Great thread! I grew up with the BSA motto "Be Prepared"

One thing about the water pump/filter, they are only good in an extreme remote area. I have used them before with great success, but they cannot filter out chemicals. Pesticides and herbicides can be washed into streams from miles away and if the concentration is high you can still get sick. Myself and three others had to be rescued because of this once. If there are farms or ranches around I would not recommend any type of water purification techniques. Bring enough!

About your wet wood experience, I have found that in most cases dry wood can be found. It has to be broken off of the tree. As the trees grow, the higher limbs are the ones that reach the sun, and the lower branches become neglected and die. Look for branches that have no leaves or needles, then give them a tug. If they snap, then they are firewood. If they bend, then leave them be (there is still some life in them). They may damp, but they will be dryer than anything on the ground.




posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by Wildbob77
 


Indeed! It was great good fun. Or... perhaps "fun" isn't the right word, but enjoyable and peaceful and amazing just being out there, the only people on the lake... gliding along over the calm and still water..... *sighs contentedly*

reply to post by spy66
 


I sure will ^.^ This was the second time I went camping out there.... that was only for three days, but it was still fun. Really started my interest in camping and wilderness survival techniques (ish). Not that I am a woodsman, it's just interesting to read about, and try out the skills, and stuff.

reply to post by DrumsRfun
 


Thank you!
Ooooh >.< That doesn't sound too good. Sounds like an adventure, though! *applauds* Do tell how your tarp and hammock works out... that's something to think about... And same with Neem. I shall look into that. Thanks!! *notes it all down in my little black book*

reply to post by Zioptis
 


Steel wool and a battery?! That's a really good idea. Does the wax make the FireSticks waterproof, then? Thank you for the ideas! *adds it to the list*

reply to post by ItsallCrazy
 


I would really recommend the water filter ^.^ And buy (or make sure you have) a bottle that fits into it. And (as a kinda-side note,) if anyone is looking into tents... make sure you get a water-proof one (duh) (or one with a GOOD fly-sheet, covering the WHOLE tent... but also a 4-season, or a wind-hardy tent. This I learned from experience... was setting up a massive 8'x8' tent with an 8 or 10' ceiling, a domed tent. Well... let's just say there was a strong gust of wind, and I started rolling down the hill, IN the tent. Eventually crash-landed in the badminton net. The tent was fine and so was I, but I sure didn't ever use it again! So PLEASE, for non-recreational, potentially survival, tents, get a wind-sturdy one ^.^ And also not too bulky or heavy. And a ground sheet (or "footprint"), too... tents don't always come with one.
But yeah, I agree with you there, going camping made me realize how disorganized the stuff I have is in case of an emergency. Moved to the interior from the quake-prone west coast about seven years ago with my parents (was still living with them then) - there, because of the quake hazard, everyone had 3-day emergency earthquake bags. Hardly anyone has stuff like that up here... dummies.

reply to post by mapper
 


Bark shaving! That is a good idea. Same with the shale rock... could double as a knife in other things too, I guess... The tip on cattails... much appreciated! Would that be inside the stalk or the head? All worthwhile trying ^.^ Thanks!

reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Thank you!
Sap. Huh. I tried that, actually... got it all over my hands. That's why I added to my OP that tea tree oil is a must. Just took three drops and *poof* sap all gone. Rubbed my hands in sand/dirt first, though... But that IS a good idea!!

By extremely light... do you mean lighter than another chunk of metal the size of the fire starter? I HOPE mine is 100%, but I do not recall the wrapper saying anything about it. >.<

Glad to be of service ^.^
reply to post by open_eyeballs
 


Thank you very much!!

Indeed, it was



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:23 PM
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After years of 'roughing it' I prefer to camp in a little better style these days






posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by Cariaddi
 



By extremely light... do you mean lighter than another chunk of metal the size of the fire starter? I HOPE mine is 100%, but I do not recall the wrapper saying anything about it.


By extremely light, I mean when it is in your hand you hardly notice. I didn't know this distinction until our last gunshow. My Mg starter works, but not as well as I had hoped. I went to a booth at the gun show and he let me compare mine to one of his $29 versions. It was like night and day! The good version weighs about what aluminum foil weighs!

For the tree sap, use the dried sap that has formed globs on the tree. It is a little sticky, but not too bad. It doesn't light any better than leaves or pine needles, but it does provide a slower burn and more heat. Kind of like lamp oil! I just take the chunks of it and throw in with my kindling!



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:36 PM
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I recently returned from a trip in the wilderness and I found that what you say about food is very true. I ate less than I usually do while sedentary. I had trouble finding water my first day out there and gained a new appreciation for it. The pump filter is definitely handy, although they can be a bit pricey.



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:42 PM
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I'll share a funny story about the tree sap. When practicing this technique, my 2 yr old and I were in the front yard. He loves it! He picked up a stick and kept playing in the fire. I decided to try and make a torch like you see in movies. I took his stick and surrounded the end of it with pine needles and pine sap. It worked really well. I lit the pine needles and we had a nice torch, very similar to what you see in movies.

I was excited, so I let my boy hold it, while I went a few steps to holler at my wife. When I turned around and she came to the door, he was flinging the stick and burning sappy pine needles had started about a dozen fires in the front yard!

Luckily the grass was moist and green, but we were dancing and stomping around the front yard for a couple of minutes.



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by evo190
 


Great point!! Where I was camping there were steel bear caches, I guess I didn't mention that. But yes, I agree evo190, NEVER KEEP FOOD IN YOUR TENT!! Even at your house, trying out the tent, DO NOT EAT IN IT! Even if you clean it, it's not worth the risk.

Another thing I thought of, prompted by your post... If you are bringing meat, try to avoid raw steaks. First off, they are a pain to cook, and secondly it's just tempting fate. Bring tinned meat, or non-flavored and (perhaps) salted jerky (dried meat ^.^). First off, the tins don't smell until you open them, and you can wash or burn them clean pretty easily. Steak smell and blood just sits around... plus it is quite heavy. if you are making jerky (I did on another trip last year), the ratio of water to weight is about 1:10. Meaning, you loose 90% of the steaks mass by sucking out the water. So instead of a 200 grams, you only have 20 - and can take 10 steaks for the "price" of one!

Sunscreen, too!! Coconut scented is rather powerful.... lol

reply to post by kettlebellysmith
 


That is a brilliant idea! I shall keep that in mind...

reply to post by Rook1545
 


Could you further explain this parallel? It sounds quite interesting! By pointing the logs all one way... do you mean you had a long row of fire?

Wow! I have never run a rapid... could you tell me what it is like? In a worst-case scenario, I might want/have to run down the Frasier... What would be the best tips for running rapids? Thanks!

reply to post by Donkey_Dean
 


Wow! Was the tipi warm? Moldy? I have always wondered, because all the ones I drive by at the camping grounds around here (oh for the joys of tourist attractions)... they were all moldy-looking. Is that from lack of care? They were canvas... is that right?

True - I would LOVE to go self-sufficient. (Am working on it... *waits patiently for the time to come*). But this trip really was for fun, not survival-testing-purposes
And I like my food. Maybe in the future (Hopefully in the future. But not in a provincial park. Then I could try hunting...)

Wow!! Your upbringing sure sounds amazing
Mind telling more?

reply to post by JohnD
 


Indeed


reply to post by Kevinquisitor
 


Ah, yes... the proverbial kitchen sink. It kinda got lost between my house and there... *looks* Not too sure where it went


reply to post by J-in-TX
 


Oh! I did NOT know that. *checks* It seems that a carbon filter would reduce the amount... I am not sure if mine has a carbon filter. But that is good to know. Thanks you! You have just (potentially) saved my life :O

Great tip - Thank you for that. *notes down - look for dead wood ON the tree*

reply to post by zorgon
 


Awesome


reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Huh. I don't know then... I THINK mine feels pure, but it only was 7 dollars. Canadian.

Ok! I shall try that. Thanks!

reply to post by NJE03
 


May I ask what foods did you bring? What would you not bring next time?

True. (about the pump)


Thank you to everyone for replying!!

getreadyalready - very funny!! thanks for the laugh!



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I use the pine needles when i am alone at night.
It burns really bright and lights up a big area around me.
Makes you feel a bit safer the more you can see.



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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Yes, I agree. The forest I was camping next to (and kinda in) was this ancient and foreboding place with moss hanging off the trees and devils club as tall as me...

I have to say, I did not feel unsafe so much as if I was intruding in some place far more ancient than I.

I prefer the plains and open grasslands of where I live - they aren't as old, or something.



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by Cariaddi
reply to post by Rook1545
 


Could you further explain this parallel? It sounds quite interesting! By pointing the logs all one way... do you mean you had a long row of fire?

Wow! I have never run a rapid... could you tell me what it is like? In a worst-case scenario, I might want/have to run down the Frasier... What would be the best tips for running rapids? Thanks!


Parallel fires are built using rough the same size pieces of wood. They are usually longer that you would ussually have, and rarely split. The upper third of the tree usually works the best since it is smaller and will burn easier. The middle third is good for cooking on, since it will burn at a decent rate and provide hot coals. The bottom third of the tree is great for overnight heat. Throw 3 or 4 logs on before bed and you will still have plenty of coals and possibly even small flames in the morning.

The logs we usually used were no more than a foot in diameter, but would be 3-4 feet long. You could chop the tree down, and then chop the pieces but we found a bow works the best.

The reason this fire works so well is because the longer wood tends to give the air a channel to go down, and actually ends up putting less smoke in your shelter. We would use lean-to style shelters, with a low cross beam, usually around 4 feet high. There is a book availble in Alberta, not too sure about BC, but it is called Northern Bushcraft. The guy basically teaches you how to survive with nothing but a bucket and a hatchet.

As far as rapids go...they are awesome. In a canoe or kayak, it is like going down a waterslide without getting wet. Bigger consideration before shooting the rapid is checking it out. If you haven't done the rapis before, definitely get out and walk them. That way you can figure out where you need to go, find the eddies, check for standing waves and shallow rocks, and make sure there are no surprises at the end
. I have seen a couple of voyageur style 12 man canoes badly damaged because of improper scouting and small waterfalls or rocks.

It is really hard to descirbe doing them. It is completely different thyan in a white water raft. In the raft you really don't have to do much, you will bounce off, or over. In the kayak or canoe you can't do that. If you tip and get pinned you could just be screwed. The tricks you can do are awesome, surfing is one. It is when you get in front of a standing wave and try to ride the crest of the wave with the back of your boat, just like a surf board.

If you ever get to Alberta, there are some amazing rivers Banff that you can go down that have some pretty cool rapid sets and whirlpools.



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 11:34 PM
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One of the most important (and I mean very important) things is that...

Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back. If there is a problem, and you do not return on time then a Search and Rescue will get involved.

Just recently, a good friend of the family died during a river rafting trip.

WFAA



posted on Jul, 17 2009 @ 01:16 AM
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What you said about the rain and damp firewood reminded me of something a Native American once told one of my classes in high school. He said they always tried to bury some leaves and tinder so that if it rained, they would still have access to dry tinder. He had terrible story to go with it that made me remember this, but unfortunately I don't remember the actual story.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:19 AM
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You are very fortunate that you didn't get any sicker than you did! NEVER, EVER drink water from an open source without filtering or purification!! Look up Giardia and Cryptosporidia, nevermind all the possible chemical contaminants you may have ingested. Sorry, no stars from me as you actually SUGGESTED that people could drink safely from open water sources!

More pioneers in the Americas died from water-borne illnesses (dysentery) than from all other sources combined. Ditto for deaths from illness in the american civil war. Please take care what you post as some may take it as gospel. regards, Asktheanimals



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by Asktheanimals
You are very fortunate that you didn't get any sicker than you did! NEVER, EVER drink water from an open source without filtering or purification!! Look up Giardia and Cryptosporidia, nevermind all the possible chemical contaminants you may have ingested. Sorry, no stars from me as you actually SUGGESTED that people could drink safely from open water sources!

More pioneers in the Americas died from water-borne illnesses (dysentery) than from all other sources combined. Ditto for deaths from illness in the american civil war. Please take care what you post as some may take it as gospel. regards, Asktheanimals


I did not re-read, but I think he mentioned that they only drank after they were well upstream. Well Water and Spring Water are both open source, and considered generally safe. Dew and collected Fresh Rainwater are also considered safe alternatives.

There is nothing wrong with drinking open source water if you can ascertain the source, and if there is no dead or rotting animals upstream from you. Crossing rivers or bathing in streams will often result in ingesting water from these sources as well, so it is impossible to not accept some risk.

Thank you for the education and concern. People should be made aware of the risks, but NEVER, EVER is a pretty strong statement. There are many ways to obtain relatively clean water without filters or purification, and in a survival situation it may be necessary.

Boiling is not an option if you are being pursued, and activated charcoal will run out quickly without fires. Most other filtering devices won't kill bacteria. Bleach or purification pills could run out eventually also. Native Americans did not purify all their sources.

So, Great Advice, but we must be educated and prepared for ALL scenarios, and that includes finding acceptable Open source water supplies.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 

Yes, NEVER EVER is a very strong statement but he said he was drinking water straight out of a lake! Why risk it at all? the methods you mentioned of collecting rainwater, dew, solar still are all safe and methods that I would recommend. in addition plant sources can give water - I.e. grapevines, thistle and a few others can provide water that is safe if there are no chemical soil contaminants.
Lastly I would mention digging water seeps in dry creek beds will provide GENERALLY safe drinking water. but if you can, always filter, boil or purify if at all possible. Dysentery is absolutely deadly particularly if you are on your own. Survival is all about minimizing risk whenever possible.
You were absolutely right getreadyallready, however you didnt read the original post carefully enough. you know your stuff so keep sharing, I always have something new to learn from others. thanks



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


Wow! Guess I didn't make myself very clear on that bit, about the water...

In no way am I urging people to for-go water filtration. It is an important part of maintaining health in the back-country.

The reason why my companion and I chose to drink from the lake was because not ALL water sources are contaminated or dangerous to drink.

However, the reasons why I was drinking from this lake:

1) Too cold to support the common water-borne diseases
2) There were no beaver-dams on the lake, or any up-stream (it's near vertical!!)
3) The visibility was at LEAST 20m down. Very little siltation or debris.
4) To the best of my knowledge, there are no factories or applications of pesticide upstream. (This is irony. There is NOTHING upstream - just more mountains and a glacier).

HOWEVER, this is only - I repeat, ONLY - lake I have ever drank from, without purification. That was because I could see the source, analyzed the situation and lake, and decided it was OK to drink from.

I'm just saying ^.^


But thank you for your concern, seriously. I don't think I made that point particularly clear... DON'T drink water without purification, unless you know where it comes from, and it is too cold to support microbial life. And especially not if it has weeds or power boats in it. Or houses nearby. Or factories, etc.




Thanks for the information, everyone!! It is great to have people commenting on my experiences and thoughts -- With it we all learn.

So thanks!

**Edit to fix spelling on "water-borne"

[edit on 20-7-2009 by Cariaddi]



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 07:19 PM
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Excellent post and sounds like you had a great time


When dealing with wet wood, try splitting the logs you place on the fire. This expose's the dry inside to the fire and helps it to catch quicker. Also look for dead hanging wood because this is always dryer than dead ground wood.

a star for you



posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 05:14 PM
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Good thread, and it sounds like a LOT of fun! I'll be going to the pacific northwest in a few weeks to spend a month or two bikecamping.

I'm in the high Sonoran desert. Digging water is essential here, and i almost never carry water because there's plenty of good water under the sand. As a general rule i make sure there's at least 10' of clean sand between any open water and where i dig.

I've spent a few nights in the mountains and desert with NOTHING on separate occasions, some were "real" survival situations, others just for fun. No matter how little i take i still usually have more than i need. I've figured out that if i've got a loincloth and shoes i'll be all set.

I've gotten stuck in mountain wilderness a few times while biking, a couple hour ride turned overnight stay wearing spandex jersey and shorts, and having nothing else aside from a few bike tools, my bike, and helmet. Even at cool mountain temps, a natural windblock lined with pine boughs made a nice nest for the night.

Most of the time, even resorting to "survival" skills is more of a waste of energy than it's worth. Friction firelighting is good, but i'll only do it when i need fire as a tool. You need to do a LOT of work to build a fire that'll keep you warm all night, and in most cases, it's not a matter of life and death, but one of comfort.

When you embrace simplicity in survival, the discomfort and mild suffering you may endure is far outweighed by the freedom, confidence, strength, and peace of mind you get from knowing you're truly dependent on nothing but the earth itself.



posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


Great advice!
But I wonder how I have survived this long after scuba diving in every river and lake I have come across. Many of them severely polluted. While diving you always ingest some water from around the mouthpiece. Some of the most interesting Shipwrecks in the Great lakes are right off shore of major cities. Many of which dumped there sewer water directly into the lake for years. Maybe the constant exposure built up an immunity.
Anyway great thread.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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Reading this there seems to be a bit of a debate about water... I guess it all ends up on what you judge to be best.

My eventual goal (and plan) is to drive into the woods, hike for a hour or so (making blazes or patterans so I know how to get back), and camp the night with nothing but a knife. Fire is a no-no where I live, so I'd REALLY have to know what I was doing!

I shall tell you of how this works out, when I (eventually) get around to it!!



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