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#125140 - 02/25/08 01:20 AM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: SwampDonkey]
raydarkhorse Offline

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 510
Loc: on the road 10-11 months out o...
I know that Susan has a post about Maxims of survival but here is one that pertains to this thread very well "pack out what you pack in".
Depend on yourself, help those who are not able, and teach those that are.

#125158 - 02/25/08 03:49 AM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: raydarkhorse]

This is why I pack a tarp in my EDC bag. If it's a matter of survival...me or the tree...then I'll saw as many as I need...but if I cut down a tree, I'm going to use all of it. Cedar is amazing wood for so many things...especially to somebody skilled. To cut one down and just leave it is terrible. Otherwise, I'm going to sleep under a tarp or space blanket. At least then I can make a pine bough bed and take boughs without killing any trees to do so.

Any time I want to construct something when I'm out in the bush, there is never a shortage of dead wood around...you just have to work to find it and bring it back sometimes. I love being near rivers for that reason. Drift wood is great. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer untouched parts these days. The last time I went down to the river to what I thought was a secluded place I found about a half dozen warehouse pallets and the remains of several more where they were burned on a sand bar...the braces and nails were still there ready to be washed away the next time the water level rose....just dumb.

#125159 - 02/25/08 04:20 AM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: SwampDonkey]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1828

SWAMP--good link..i added it to my list..
however..i was sorry to see so much bad behavor in Canada..
my Dad was born there and we always heard how perfect "Gods
Country" was---

#125185 - 02/25/08 12:58 PM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: CANOEDOGS]
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hey C-Dog,

It is unfortunate the the OCOA site mostly only lists the News Releases after successful court convictions. For every one of those cases there are hundreds of camping/fishing/hunting adventures that happened without any problems.

I think there is also a good news link on the site about OCOA members taking inner-city kids on a week long fishing trip last summer.



#125194 - 02/25/08 02:13 PM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: SwampDonkey]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
Most states have hotlines for reporting poaching and other improper uses of natural resources. Being out in the woods as much as I am I keep the Texas number on my cell phone. I've called in a few reports over the years. It feels good.

To return somewhat to topic, are there any primitive skills groups in your area? If not, maybe you could talk to the local parks authority about starting one up. With luck you can get permission to do this sort thing on park land with their blessing. This worked for the primitive skills group I belong to. They can also probably direct you to a yard-waste drop-off site where you can scavenge tree trimmings, bags of leaves, etc to use in debris shelters and other crafts.

Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#125199 - 02/25/08 02:45 PM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: Blast]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Excellent ideas.

I have not been able to fiind any local, non-commercial survival groups. Been a lone wolf. But I am taking acouple courses and hope to develop some contacts.


#125205 - 02/25/08 03:18 PM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: Blast]
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi Blast,

Good idea about keeping the Natural Resources Hotline number in your personal phone book, we have recently recieved this service in Ontario and for anyone living/visiting the province the toll-free number is 1-877-847-7677 (1-877-TIPS-MNR).

The "Survivor Game" garbage did not happen in my area (that location receives much heavier user pressure) but other deposits of garbage/construction of unlawful buildings are commonly found throughout the vast Crown Land in the province.

As luck would have it a new Hiking Group has formed in my area and established a remote trail that offers an excellent location to practice low-impact activities. Our youth group were one of the first organizations to use a portion of this trail last September and had a terrific time.



#125245 - 02/25/08 08:22 PM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: dweste]
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
I forget which author I was reading made this argument, but he/they pointed out that very often, what is described as "low impact" or "no impact" camping is simply "displaced impact". Using a white gas campstove may reduce the impact where you are, but it takes advantage of the ecological damage inflicted elsewhere by the oil and gas industry.

Having said that:

Bear in mind that "dead trees" are not garbage - they are a vital part of the park's ecology. Many animals and plants rely on those dead trees for shelter and food; if campers routinely harvest all the dead wood for making campfires, those species may become locally extinct, with who knows what long-term results for the area.

Some trees are doomed by nature. I understand from Mors Kochanski that black spruce trees grow in clumps. Eventually, one of the trees wins out, and the others die off. Cutting one of them down, therefore, will have no long-term effect on the forest ecology.

So a deep understanding of the forest ecology is necessary to make informed decisions about what is ecologically friendly and what is destructive. Before I learned the above two facts, I would simply have assumed that cutting down live trees = bad, using dead trees = good. But in fact, it may be the other way around.

Not that you would necessarily get a Park Ranger to see it that way, of course :-(
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#125250 - 02/25/08 08:58 PM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: aardwolfe]

Understanding the ecology is all fine and good if you're in the middle of nowhere...but cutting down trees in a national park is illegal.

#125327 - 02/26/08 01:39 PM Re: Limit effect of primitive skills on the land? [Re: ]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
From a wilderness survival perspective, this is what I think to be germaine. When in the habit of accessing public lands, it should be with the notion to leave little or no trace. The idea being that your excursion is under enough control that you can minimize the impact to the environment by adequately planning, preparing, and resourcing for the endeavor ahead. Therefore, practice of primitive skills can be under those controlled conditions wherein you provide the necessary materials and methods that would effectively isolate your interface with the environment to a suitably minimal degree, such as bring your own twigs and branches and firepan with which to practice your primitve fire making skills upon. The idea being that you are practicing technique, which can be done at home as well as in the big woods, so no need to bring your mess to bear on the public domain any moreso that what would happen in your own backyard. Admittedly such actions, even when properly planned, resourced and controlled, will still have some effect on the environment as a whole, life in general seems to be that way, so the idea is to do it and do it efficiently.

Now, when the need for primitive skills becomes a mandatory effort for survival, your controlled practice will not only help secure your welfare, but aid in keeping your efforts more efficient and less of an impact to the environment as well. Lessons learned in practice can be applied with more of an aspect of environmental preservation as well as self preservation, although admittedly the environmental considerations must take a subjugated priority to those of personal assurance. Legal issues are to be even less considered, though wanton disregard is likely not warranted.

So, whether I should find myself lost in the National Parks somewhere, or the National forest, or BLM land, or DNR land, or whatever public land from which self egress is not going to likely occur, should I from my wealth of experience in practicing primitive skills and some sensibility determine that a tree needs to be cut down, or an animal needs to be killed and consumed, I will do what needs to be done to ensure my survival, and any environmental impacts I might create or laws I might happen to break are simply not going to be of significant consideration at the time. Nice if I can comply, but not much of a factor in the decision making process at the time.

Practice is one thing, doing it for keeps can mean a whole new set of rules, or maybe none at all.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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