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#16193 - 05/23/03 01:04 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy

[confused / amused]So, let me get this straight, You live at home and they will let you walk about with a decent fixed-blade knife but they won't allow you to carry fire making tools? How young are you? Am I missing something here? Are you a convicted pyromaniac? Have you ever built / started / cooked on a campfire?[confused / amused]

Anyway, get a bic lighter. If you go to school / get into town to help your pop pick up some feed / hitch a ride and run away (or all of the above), spend the buck and buy a real live bic lighter and while you are paying ask the clerk for a couple of books of matches. Carry the matches in a zip-lock baggie or equivalent. Don't set your pop's crops on fire!

For friction fire you will be best off with a bow drill. It's not easy or really fun but it is fairly reliable once you get the hang of it. All you need to carry is a metal top from a soda / beer bottle a decent length of twine (boot laces work) and a knife. With practice you will be come to know the good woods in your area for working with. Check out the web, there are lot's of sites like this that make it look easy. The important thing to remember is that both ends of the drill will get hot so you need that bottle top as a pivot point at the top. If you count on spinning the drill with your hands instead of the bow you will get warm but not from the fire. You will probably wear yourself out before you get fire.

For flint fire with a real flint you may need special steel but I wouldn't really know where to find real flint and real flint doesn't give that good a spark anyway. Get the sparking rods like the swiss fire-steel or the BSA spark and any decent knife and you should be good to go. It is more about the tinder than the spark. If you place an end of the spark rod in the tinder and scrape downward on the rod you should peel off some burning sparks into the tinder. If the tinder is dry and flamable then you will have fire.

If you really want trouble take the 9 volt battery out of the smoke detector, grab a steelwool from the kitchen or shop (- make sure it isn't impregnated with soap like a brillo or sos pad) and just jam the 9 volt, business end first, into the steelwool and it should get extremely hot. Once started you won't see flame but it will start fires very well. If you carry a PAL emergency light (9-volt led light) you will have both light and heat until your battery goes dead.

Don't burn you pop's crops!

#16194 - 05/23/03 01:38 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy

Do I sense a hidden indignation to 16 year old farmboys? <img src="images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> I actually knew about the 9 volt batter and steel wool technique when I was in 7 grade. But I forgot about it. Thanx for reminding me. But once I almost caught my backpack on fire when I put them together in the same compartment. Oops, anyone hot in here, lets open the windows! <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> I will try to get to town but I have to go a mile out of the way to get to a bridge to crosss the river, but I will try. OTOH I will just ask my parents for a lighter because the last time I asked I was 8 and was actually asking for an acetylene torch. <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> I have made many a fire, so don't get me wrong. I have even split water to produce hydrogen gas and am currently making a firearm using hydrogen instead of gunpowder. Making a fire out of it shouldnt be too hard. Oh yeah, currently my dads crops are all just little seedling which are hard to make into any conflagration, thank you. <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

#16195 - 05/23/03 02:15 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy

Sorry if I offended. I was confused as to why your folks would trust you with knives but not fire - didn't make sense to me. Any hidden indignation is rather jealousy. Been a long time since I could spend my days working projects and hiking the fields. I've been stuck in a desk for 20+ years and only get out on weekends (and then I have to drag my young-uns out with me <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> )

#16196 - 05/24/03 12:01 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy

Yeah thier reasons escape me too. I have made several small fires in secret at night in the winter time, but nothing serious. If you really want to hear indignation and nonacceptance (from the exact hypocrites who profess to have sooooo much) you should bring the fodd you hunted/gathered. What do those people have against living off the land? Anyway, I took your advice and must thank you. Thank you! I nabbed a lighter that was lying around forgoton (mint condition too!) went down in back by the river, gathered some dead cornstalks and mashed them all up (these work extremely well) 1 flick of the lighter and I had a fire going. Baleing twine works well too, when you fluff it all up. I learned that muddy sticks smolder ALOT, even if they are dry (probably because of the flood) and you should have your kindling and stuff ready before lighting up. Now how do you cook with these things? Something with coals, right? I also started thinking aboutmaking a PSK.

#16197 - 05/24/03 05:19 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy

Baleing twine in our area is made of orange plastic, is this the same stuff you're talking about?

#16198 - 05/25/03 10:50 AM Re: New Survival Philosophy

Nope. I mean the more fabricy stuff. Natural, I think the word is.

#16199 - 05/25/03 03:20 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1028
Loc: Germany
I bought a couple of pieces of real flint in a shop for muzzle loading supplies. I used an old triangular scraper as steel. It worked ok. As minime said, the spark is pretty weak. You need special tinder (e. g. char cloth for it). The artificial flint rods are by far superior to that and the required items take less space.
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

#16200 - 05/25/03 08:25 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy

Sorry, I haven't been on in awhile.

>> What were your further out ideas?<<

My generation was prone to a lot of delusions about "living of the land", the idea that you could just walk out into the wilderness and stay, inspired by books from people like Euell Gibbons and Bradford Angier, and a sort of printed proto-web called "The Whole Earth Catalog". Things were different then, and information was a lot harder to come by than it is now.

I made some modest attempts at using wild foods, until a painful episode killed a lot of my curiosity about it. For a while something called "spirulina", a refined blue-green algae, was being promoted as "the perfect food" and it was thought that you could backpack for weeks carrying nothing else but these pills, made, essentially, of pond scum. I tried to live off them for a week, but after four days I couldn't stand the smell, and couldn't bring myself to swallow them anymore. We made tipis (that leaked) from surplus parachutes (probably, in retrospect, risking a very painful death by burning), and hiked through the woods wearing imitation "buckskin" leather-fringed jackets and drinking from leather wineskins, and thought we were somehow getting "back to nature". We learned to make atl-atls and bolos, sandals and mocassins, and I had a friend who went all winter, though the snows, barefoot.

Silly as it seems now, I don't regret any of it. I learned a lot, and I'd rather have to wade through lots of ideas, the vast majority of which don't work, than have the ideas suppressed before they can be tried.

#16201 - 05/26/03 01:00 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy

Cool, or maybe 'psycodelic'! I gave my new fire starting skills and survival pack a test flight and they worked ok, but I need some way to procure water? What did you guys do for that? My best bet is to boil it, but I only have a small pan.

#16202 - 05/27/03 07:26 PM Re: New Survival Philosophy

Well, as I said, things were different back then...

Mostly we used iodine tablets, usually military surplus versions of Potable Aqua- when we used anything. At least one guy ("crazy Chester") refused to drink water unless it had been mixed with grain alcohol for hours.

To be honest... and I'm NOT recommending this... until the late '70s or so, we pretty much drank straight from springs anytime, and from streams if we were certain that there were no camps or houses upstream. I wouldn't do it now, but I never got sick, nor did any of the people I was with. We only used the iodine tablets when there was doubt about the source. Hadn't even heard of giardia at that point, and there were large sections of wilderness that had no other people at all, not even hikers, all year round.

Camping was more unusual then than it is nownow, and it was a little looked-down-upon as something done by people too poor to even afford motels. Backpacking was very unusual until 1968 or so, and grew fairly slowly from then. Everything was a lot less crowded.

These days I carry a Katadyn filter and iodine as a backup. Boiling takes up time and fuel, and that interferes with making progress down the trail. I almost never make open fires, because of the fire scars, and the difficulty of being absolutely sure it's out and won't spread, and the night blindness, and advertising the campsite to anyone for miles around, and...

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