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An emergency Fire--[Camping or Survival]

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  • An emergency Fire--[Camping or Survival]

    To be a little bit prepared in your daily life is so much better than to go out there and see how much you can 'suffer' to 'proof' yourself...

    [eg. Producing an emergency fire is really not that simple without modern means for the average man/woman, or as easy as some stick rubbing experts would like you to believe , given the vast variety of unsuitable terrain , materials or weather conditions sometimes existing when you really need a fire in a hurry...]

    Some here would maybe see this as a bit of a controversial statement , but please don't--it's not the intention!

    By all means, teach yourself the old skills and ways , [I also do] but really, 90% of the time in a 'survival' or an emergency situation, life could have been so much more bearable if just some basic precautions has been taken beforehand...

    eg. --do you EDC carry a small pocket knife?
    --or as a non-smoker, do you EDC some small unnoticed means of a fire starter [Ligter, matches, Ferro-rod ect]
    The list can go on and on...
    [Its understandable where its possible in the workplace and where 'society' or laws allows it]

    Just always be as prepared as you possibly can and FIRST try it the easy way before you burn calories or risk injuries [blisters] etc.!


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    Last edited by Wim; 09-01-2019, 03:57 AM.

  • #2
    As I have said before, building a fire and keeping it burning in very cold or very wet conditions can often consume more energy than you'll get out of it. Been there. Best to have enough food along to keep the internal fires burning while you keep moving to stay warm and get out of trouble.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
      As I have said before, building a fire and keeping it burning in very cold or very wet conditions can often consume more energy than you'll get out of it. Been there. Best to have enough food along to keep the internal fires burning while you keep moving to stay warm and get out of trouble.
      I think the ‘optimum’ word or thought there is ‘having enough food along to keep the internal fires burning’ ! I believe it was the premise of Wim’s post in the first place, there not being the convenience of enough food, thus the info of the concerns of the ability to start a fire. But then, maybe I misunderstood the context of the post !

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
        As I have said before, building a fire and keeping it burning in very cold or very wet conditions can often consume more energy than you'll get out of it. Been there. Best to have enough food along to keep the internal fires burning while you keep moving to stay warm and get out of trouble.
        Granted, I typically don't hunt in the cold like you do but that's really B.S... I remember you also don't carry water in the field and you've climbed out on ice alone to rescue a dog. It's hard to say it hasn't worked for you since you're still alive but it would be reckless for others to follow your examples of safety.

        Calorie consumption only becomes a major worry if you will be in the situation for a long while. You will die a lot faster from being too cold rather than too hungry. My expectations are to be rescued within 48 hours and that can't happen if I die from hypothermia.

        I carry three means of starting fire whenever hunting, hiking, or canoeing. I also have emergency kits in each vehicle with several means of starting fire. But, I do not typically carry fire making means on my person during normal day-to-day activities.

        Now, pocket knives are a different story. I've always got something to cut with unless in a place where knives are prohibited.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PigHunter View Post

          Granted, I typically don't hunt in the cold like you do but that's really B.S... I remember you also don't carry water in the field and you've climbed out on ice alone to rescue a dog. It's hard to say it hasn't worked for you since you're still alive but it would be reckless for others to follow your examples of safety.

          Calorie consumption only becomes a major worry if you will be in the situation for a long while. You will die a lot faster from being too cold rather than too hungry. My expectations are to be rescued within 48 hours and that can't happen if I die from hypothermia.

          I carry three means of starting fire whenever hunting, hiking, or canoeing. I also have emergency kits in each vehicle with several means of starting fire. But, I do not typically carry fire making means on my person during normal day-to-day activities.

          Now, pocket knives are a different story. I've always got something to cut with unless in a place where knives are prohibited.
          Some guy who has never hunted in minus zero weather is calling BS? You don't have a clue. Hypothermia will kill you a lot faster if you can't get the energy going within. I have sat around a fire in very cold weather and still shivered hard. An energy bar or two and it stops. Getting enough convection heat between the fire and yourself when the wind is blowing, rain is falling, or temperature dropping below freezing is easier said than done. Remember your backside is still facing the elements. Your body will change good food to energy much more efficiently. And if you're running around trying to find and prepare fuel for a fire, you're consuming valuable energy away from the fire. You can easily wind up losing more than you'll gain. Again, I speak from experience ... you do not, because you have never experienced that kind of environment. I always carried fire making stuff with me but can only recall twice in fifty years where I made use of it. Once to dry my socks (convenience rather than necessity) and once when my brother and I were unexpectedly detained overnight. Even with a fire burning all night I was still in bad shape the following morning with nothing in my gut. Fortunately the birds hadn't hit the gut pile so I hiked back after first light and retrieved the liver and heart. That gave me enough juice to get the loads on the horses and out of there. Without it ... who knows what would have happened. My diabetic brother would have had a rough go for sure. Unwrapping the meat and carving into it would have been the other option.

          The point is you cannot always rely on a fire to do the job ... because you cannot predict what the environment will throw at you. But you can count on food keeping your well sheltered internal engine burning ... if you make the right food choices and you're not sick.
          Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 09-01-2019, 02:39 PM.

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          • #6
            Much will depend on circumstances.

            A fire still could save your life, or at least your fingers/toes. Full belly won't prevent frostbite or the risks associated. Standard advice for those who realize they are lost is to stay put, it's easier for search parties to find someone that way and less dangerous for the lost person. Especially in the dark. Having a fire is good for mental health in that circumstance if nothing else.

            Easiest solution is to carry both fire starters and energy foods. Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared.

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            • #7
              Don't rely on BIC completely. I have had a couple fail. One when the roller got wet and would not spark. The other, the flint was low and the last remaining piece was kicked out by the roller. I also was concerned about the butane getting too cold to vaporize.
              I started a fire to dry socks and finally gave up and broke out my spare pair. The fire was too hard to gather all the wood for it. 2- I was afraid it would get too big and out of control and set the forest on fire.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                Some guy who has never hunted in minus zero weather is calling BS? You don't have a clue. Hypothermia will kill you a lot faster if you can't get the energy going within. I have sat around a fire in very cold weather and still shivered hard. An energy bar or two and it stops. Getting enough convection heat between the fire and yourself when the wind is blowing, rain is falling, or temperature dropping below freezing is easier said than done. Remember your backside is still facing the elements. Your body will change good food to energy much more efficiently. And if you're running around trying to find and prepare fuel for a fire, you're consuming valuable energy away from the fire. You can easily wind up losing more than you'll gain. Again, I speak from experience ... you do not, because you have never experienced that kind of environment. I always carried fire making stuff with me but can only recall twice in fifty years where I made use of it. Once to dry my socks (convenience rather than necessity) and once when my brother and I were unexpectedly detained overnight. Even with a fire burning all night I was still in bad shape the following morning with nothing in my gut. Fortunately the birds hadn't hit the gut pile so I hiked back after first light and retrieved the liver and heart. That gave me enough juice to get the loads on the horses and out of there. Without it ... who knows what would have happened. My diabetic brother would have had a rough go for sure. Unwrapping the meat and carving into it would have been the other option.

                The point is you cannot always rely on a fire to do the job ... because you cannot predict what the environment will throw at you. But you can count on food keeping your well sheltered internal engine burning ... if you make the right food choices and you're not sick.
                Now, why in the world would I want to hunt in minus zero weather??? That would be highly unusual for Alabama. I've hunted when the temps were in the teens but typically our cold nights are in the 20's and 30's (F). That's cold enough to die from hypothermia.

                For me, fire is only part of the solution. In all weather I carry a tarp or poncho and have a reflective space blanket folded in it's package. Sometimes when it's really cold (for AL) I even carry a reflective tube tent if planning to venture further away from the car.

                Properly rigging the tarp or reflective blanket could block wind and reflect some of the fire's heat back onto your dark side. Combining those with a primitive shelter is even better. That's one of the reasons I also carry a folding saw and cordage.

                Rarely do I carry more than a lunch on hunting days. Going hungry for a day or two shouldn't hurt a healthy man if he's got proper shelter.
                Last edited by PigHunter; 09-02-2019, 12:19 PM.

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                • #9
                  Yep, different continent , conditions, needs, situation , climate ect.
                  Interesting to see all of your perspectives on this topic,though.
                  Last edited by Wim; 09-02-2019, 12:12 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wim View Post
                    Yep, different continent , conditions, needs, situation , climate ect.
                    Interesting to see all of your perspectives on this topic,though.
                    Exactly Wim. You need to match to the situation, terrain, and climate. For example, a machete is more useful than an ax in my area

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                    • #11
                      I agree PigHunter, as in most of my hunting areas with very-very dry,hard and thorny wood, a good saw is most of the time of more value than any small ax!

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                      • #12
                        I made a fire two days out of thirteen hunting this year. If I'm not cutting any tracks and it's cold with a wind up I find an evergreen that's newly down and still has some orange needles to it. I have paraffin soaked little pieces of paper towels in my fire starter bag. (ran out of P-cord which works better years ago) I can usually get a hot blaze in a couple minutes. A fallen evergreen is plenty of easy wood for a 40 minute fire. Hot cup of coffee, shed a layer or two, and I feel downright human. It's not survival, just taking a break and having no luck anyway.

                        At night I'm usually hiking, no time for fires. Sometimes it takes a couple hours to walk out, temps do drop fast up high. One doesn't need food to keep from starving for a few weeks but carbs can warm you up quickly as your body burns them.

                        I spent a night out when I was young using the two fires trick, it really works. I built the second fire because I couldn't sleep with one side cold. I notice elk sleep under thick doug fir, keeps the radiant heat from heading up to the sky. I'd think the radiant tarp or a rock works well too.

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                        • #13
                          One fire I made on a bear hunt in the Adirondacks was to dry socks that got soaked from stepping in water over the boots. I was in pine trees with no lack of fuel. Got it started and held the socks as close as I dared and it was a bust. Reasons were I did not want to build a roaring fire in case it got away from me. Even fires put out have been known to travel underground in the Adirondacks only to pop up in another location. Second, the socks had some synthetic material and I did not want to risk ruining them by getting them so close the time required would have been too long. I was watching a place the Guide put me on where he had seen a good 500 pounder on several occasions. From the pines I had an easy 250 yd to the edge of trees facing a beach. Put the socks on and back to hunting er, eating lunch. No, I forgot my spare pair.

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                          • #14
                            pighunter, wim,
                            deer and elk can be found in areas not prone to sub zero weather conditions.
                            If one chooses to hunt high mountain country in snowy, minus temps, that's fine.
                            But mulies and elk can both be found in Texas in much less extreme, more pleasant conditions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For the fire part, this is what I keep with me:
                              https://www.hollandguns.com/FireStarters.html
                              A detailed video for those interested.
                              https://youtu.be/2eQmknbvAAA

                              Comment

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