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Coming To Terms

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posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 06:13 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

As a machinist, I always kept a box of finger rubbers and a bottle or two of liquid bandage in my toolbox. The oil would dissolve everything in a couple hours. No tape would hold, I doubt Gorilla Tape (which didn’t exist then) would hold either. Finger cot rubbers died in lemon juice too. So fresh mineral spirits ate them too.

posted on Aug, 17 2021 @ 10:17 PM
A little break before getting back at it. I have debated a separate thread on gear (which I may yet do) but I wanted to look at shelter with the different philosophies in mind.

Shelter. Shelter is the priority and the first line of defense is proper clothes for the environment. But that isn’t exactly the focus with this post either. From a gear perspective: Tent, Tarp, Poncho, Natural (debris hut, lean to, etc.) or Permanent (bunker, log cabin).

Tent is the hiker/camper’s top choice. Now hikers will lean towards lighter solutions which would be a bivy (but is also a tent if you think about it). A prepper will go for Permanent, but will use a tent or poncho en route. A survivalist will go for a poncho followed by a tarp. A bushcrafter will do natural shelters then a tarp or poncho.

Tent - Pros: complete system, quick setup, no need to improvise. Cons: weight, brightly colored, fiddly parts, most difficult to repair and may not be a four season tent.

Tarp - Pros: multitude of setup options and subdued colors, easy to repair, can assist with other shelters. Cons: need to supply extra parts (poles, cordage), limited functions outside of shelter.

Poncho - Pros: Rain gear while traveling, setups are similar to a tarp but less complex configurations, Ranger Taco is an option. Cons: shelter size limits, can’t wear it and shelter under at the same time.

Natural - Pros: Free, weighs nothing. Cons: Takes time and energy to build, complexity determines shelter value.

Permanent - Pros: This is your new home, best shelter in all four seasons. Cons: This is your new home and it doesn’t move, can be expensive or a long time to be functional.

Overall a 10’ x 10’ (3m x 3m) tarp is your best investment at any school of thought. It is the king of mobility due to configurations available at the expense of weight and space which can be minimal due to materials. Poncho is still not a bad trade off for additional function and to save the weight and space of a tarp. Tents can be a mixed bag as you can get ultra light. I have a Therm-a-rest UL cot and tent that is about 5.5lbs total and can be used three different ways that probably cost as much then as a Cuban Fiber (right about 1 lbs) tent would today.

Natural shelters are the best price (free) and weight (zero) but you lose mobility due to the time spent building (minimal lean to is about an hour). But who doesn’t want a log cabin in the woods?

And yet there is one I left off the list, Hammock and rain fly. Really great late Spring, all Summer and early Fall. Not so great late Fall, all Winter and early Spring. Hammocks will teach you about convection cooling and insulation. The rain fly is a tarp. Bug netting and tree straps will equal the space and weight of some tents. A hard con is finding two trees in just the right spot. You can adapt by building tripods with a crossbar. Here is the list: 6 logs 3-4” diameter 6-8’ long, ridgpole 2-3” diameter 12’ long. Lashing for all. Test each end by doing a few pull ups (this has to hold your weight to work and middle of the night is not the time for it to fail). Or you can do a tarp setup (hooch or A frame maybe) and make a cot out your hammock rolling two 7’ side poles and placing them on notched end logs 3-4’ long 5-6” diameter. Tree straps can be used as pack straps on a Roy Croft pack.

So hammocks are versatile...but not for everyone as not everyone sleeps well in a hammock. And the point of shelter is to combat hypothermia. Hammocks have their use, and I do like them, but best left to the hikers and campers. And not in a 4 season situation.

posted on Aug, 18 2021 @ 07:52 AM
Water. Fresh as a mountain stream...those days are long gone. And honestly didn’t really exist then either. Have I drank water that could have been unsafe? Yes. Did anything bad happen? No, but it could have. Safe drinking water is fairly easy. Filters, chemicals or boiling. And distilling is fancy boiling. There is also UV which is also easy, but is either expensive glamping equipment or all day with the sun shining on a clean, clear bottle...meaning you do several at once. Best and easiest solution is boiling.

But with all methods, except the filters like Sawyer and LifeStraw, they leave the taste of water a bit flat. can pour back and forth between clean containers to reintroduce a little air back into the water. Chemical purification is going to taste like that. You can try to dilute it down by mixing large amounts of water.

Good news is that not all water needs to be purified. Just what you drink (and cook) or use for hygiene/cleaning. Bad news is that even unclean, you still need lots of water every day. Especially as you enter permanent shelter with raising livestock, ceramics, forging, etc. Having a good creek or spring is one thing, a hand dug well is another. But when still mobile, you have to look for signs to find water.

Finding Water. Sycamores and weeping willows (two easily identified trees) must be near water as they require lots of it. A sycamore can be tapped like a maple to obtain water. You can also build down that sap to make syrup at a rate of about 20:1 or 25:1. Maples are 7:1 or 10:1 which is why it is ill-advised to drink maple sap because you may (almost certain) have diarrhea from too much sugar. You can look for moist ground or and open field where the grass is a darker green and dig a coyote hole. The soil should be darker and more moist as you dig down. It should start filling in 15 minutes but wait an hour before considering it dependable. Following animal trails should lead you to water. Insects must live near in range of a water source. So must birds, but they have a longer range than bugs. Some people believe that birds fly lower and straight going towards water and will fly higher and can meander going away from it. Which seems true of waterfowl coming in for a water landing or taking off, but I never followed a duck through the woods.

You can go three days without water. I have before and NEVER will again. I’d call quits on that dare within a day, day and a half tops. Hypothermia is a generally peaceful way to go. Dehydration isn’t so great although the hallucination towards the end was something. Even then it was just lapping up a few sips out of my hand. Then some more a little later on.

Edit to add:

Other options for water are transpiration methods. Easiest form is tying a clear bag around a living branch. Water is sweated out of the leaves (which can pull and moisture from/into the air) this also why there is a haze around a forrest in high heat and humidity. Depending on humidity levels, this can take all day for a little water. DO NOT USE POISONOUS LEAVES. This is also the principal behind a solar still (clear sheet of plastic with a rock) or a desalination solar still (bottom half of a soda can with a clear water bottle with the bottom removed and about half the bottle tucked in to catch the water. I first learned of this as a small child pointing out how it sweat inside a glass jar placed in the yard (which yielded enough to wet my finger) and pointed it out to grandpa who explained it with the plastic bag trick. It works, is already purified for drinking but takes a lot of time and effort to setup and gather.
edit on 18-8-2021 by Ahabstar because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 18 2021 @ 12:02 PM
Food. You have three weeks before starvation gets you but you will be too weak to sustain yourself before that. Hunting, trapping, fishing, gathering/foraging wild edibles, scavenging (bugs or other people’s things) and gardening are your options. Gardening is only really open once in permanent shelter due to time commitment and losing mobility. You might be able to barter, but that is a bit of a special circumstance.

Smoking and dehydration are your main means of preservation. Salting is pretty much the prepper domain after inside permanent shelter. You do have some natural refrigeration methods with an ice house, spring house, cave or hand dug root cellar. Canning is unlikely in a mobile condition but possible, very difficult due to weight and sterile conditions but possible. Best advice is to learn ahead of time how to smoke and dehydrate. Half spoiled jerky is no fun. The was even a pretty good Gunsmoke episode about bad sausage killing people.

Cooking will be by fire. Even a wood burning stove is cooking by fire. Yes you can play around and make a solar cooker out of aluminum foil (difficult to obtain maximum efficiency) or a Mylar blanket (easier as there is less wrinkling than foil). But not really worth it. And there is a glass tube solar cooker that really is only good in the backyard. Of course you could do a giant fresnel lens and melt stone, but that is neither here nor there.

Cook sets can be just about anything from tin cans (burn out the plastic coating first) to titanium. Hobo cook sets made of cans while not as durable are easily replaced. Cast iron, while very heavy, are pretty much a lifetime item and therefore best bang for your buck. Stainless steel is better than aluminum but weighs more. Titanium is the lightest, but costly. Those sooty outsides on all cookware are what happens cooking over a fire as well as discoloration from the heat.

Which brings me a subject important enough for a new post.

posted on Aug, 18 2021 @ 12:56 PM
Fire. Everyone says the most important tool of piece of gear is a knife. Preferably two or more because “Two is one and one is none.” But I’d like to make an argument for fire as more important. Fire, by itself, is shelter. It is water due to purification. It is food due to cooking. So your fire kit better have more than one means of making fire.

Hands down best fire tool is a Bic lighter. Small and light enough to carry several. Commonly 5 for $5-$6 at Walmart. You can buy cheap lighters, but honestly put your trust in quality standards. The three cons: are fuel supply, cold temperatures and getting wet. Flint and steel is great as are fire pistons, both rely heavily on charcloth which can be nullified by high humidity and getting wet. Ferro rods are excellent and use a multitude materials to start a fire...personally I find fat wood shavings to be the best. It is like ribbons of wax soaked in kerosene for starting a fire.

Charcloth is smoldered cotton, which could be a bandana. You can use an Altoids tin or any small tin as your char box. Poke a hole in the top. Fill with material to be charred and place on the coals of a fire. When it stops smoking out the hole, it should be done. But cotton cloth is not the only material. You can use cotton balls, cotton makeup pads, etc, cattail fluff, punky wood (crumbling dry dead wood from a rotting log). Maybe thistle down or milkweed down (I’ve never tried either).

Friction fire starters. bow drill, hand drill, pump drill, fire saw, fire plough (what Tom Hanks used on Cast Away)...all take lots of practice. None are easy. All have limitations with dampness and high humidity. Everything must be dry. But the most important thing is you do not get fire. You change wood dust into a cohesive burning ember of a coal.

That out of the way, what makes fire a tool like (or superior to) a knife. Burning lots of material to ash and adding water can make an ash dough ball that you can place in a fire to re-harden after brought to white hot temperatures. Remove and place in a small bowl of water where it will bubble and crack breaking into a powder. This could also be down with limestone or sea shells or fresh water muscle shells and place in the fire to break into a powder. Using pulverized terracotta powder and this powdered lime. (What the fire does is turn calcium carbonate into lime. Lime mixed with terracotta to a play doh consistency will dry in about three days - Roman Concrete or Quik-lime Concrete). These bricks (if that’s what you made) will have a ping when thunked and are water resistant. You can now make this for various uses such as mortar for rock chimneys, bricks for a patio, etc.

Fire turns clay to ceramics and terracotta for bowls, cups, plates, roofing tiles, kilns, etc. fire can fire harden wood to make stronger pegs and wooden nails, spears, etc. Forging is next on the list of fire as a tool. And even medical...if you have to cauterize a wound to stop the bleeding. Hopefully you would have fired the still for making an antiseptic and painkiller. Which is also an excellent barter item.

posted on Sep, 1 2021 @ 03:50 AM

originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: Ahabstar

Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting even for a moment that people shouldn't carry a FAK. All I'm saying is people don't need to carry a trauma bag for a FAK, and some go completely crazy on FAK's. As for certifications, yeah, I did that for many years also. I don't do it now, but at one point I had to get my EMT 1 and wow, you want to talk about recurrent training to keep that puppy valid, oh man!

I was talking with this guy one time and he was all into the EDC thing. The subject of FAK's came up and this guy wanted to show me his FAK. Holy cow, this guy was set up like a level 2 trauma center! Asked him how he was going to 'carry' all that stuff, and he whips out a whole pack just crammed to the brim with a duplicate copy of the same stuff. Asked him how he was going to carry all his other stuff, and he pulls out another pack, this one a chest pack. Then he had a bag which clipped between the two on each side for other gear. Must've had 50 lbs of gear. Don't know how far anyone would be able to lug all that stuff, but to each their own.

So, I guess my point here is there's a balance. On the one end of the spectrum you've got the Altoids tin approach, and at the other end of the spectrum you have the guy I noted above. I think somewhere in between the two is more reasonable.

The reason a trauma kit is recommended is because they come standard with a decent tourniquet.

Any major laceration is recommended to apply a tourniquet now as a first step.

Another handy item is a "tactical" belt. Can be used as a tourniquet in a pinch. And it holds your pants up, too.

But I agree, you don't need a dedicated bag for a trauma kit. Really, just a good tourniquet, some painkillers, some sort of antiseptic (iodine cleans water too!), Some gauze/bandages, and some super glue.
edit on 1-9-2021 by rounda because: (no reason given)

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