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#238201 - 12/29/11 08:14 PM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: bacpacjac]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6082
Loc: southern Cal
Long, long ago (Throw another log on the fire, kids, gramps is at it again) back in the old days (1950s), one could routinely go hiking in the mountain ranges of Arizona and use the cabins that were found therein. Some were guv'ment owned (Forest Service and Park Service) while others were ranchers line cabins. They were mostly unlocked.

Passersby could and did use them for shelter. Naturally they were wonderful in crummy weather. The requirements were; No vandalism or damages. Wash the dishes. Restock the kindling box as you leave and clean the place up. You may observe, but not use, the lever action 30-30 routinely stashed beneath the mattress in the ranchers line cabins.

The custom of leaving dry kindling really paid off for me and my party when we used one of these cabins in the midst of a really terrible snowstorm.

Glad to see echoes of this wonderful custom still around....
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#238214 - 12/29/11 10:33 PM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: hikermor]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1325
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Long, long ago (Throw another log on the fire, kids, gramps is at it again) back in the old days (1950s), one could routinely go hiking in the mountain ranges of Arizona and use the cabins that were found therein. Some were guv'ment owned (Forest Service and Park Service) while
Glad to see echoes of this wonderful custom still around....


Around here, there are still a few of those cabins and shelters that are available for use whether it be for overnight or emergency use. Fortunately they are far enough in the back country to keep the worst of the vandals home. The shelters are often kept in remarkably good user maintained condition. Some are just small one room / 1 bed setups, whereas others have multiple beds and often if you are the first people there, you may be joined later by others which makes for some interesting nights of pleasant conversation.
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Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#238230 - 12/30/11 12:37 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Dagny]
Mark_M Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Dagny
In Minnesota this time of year, I'd need a Sherpa.

We're slated for our first "Arctic blast" to hit next Tuesday (high temp of 32, low 25).


And here I'd always thought Minnesota was a cold place. Currently sitting in my garage having a smoke while surfing the web. It's 27*F now, heading down to the low 20's tonight. Not the first time we've seen these temps this season in the hills of NJ. With fuel oil at $3.50/gallon, winters are expensive. Seriously considering a pellet stove.

Last winter we had plenty of nights in the low teens, even a few straddling 0*F (that is -17.8*C for those playing the metric version). I tried camping one night in 4*F weather. Gave up and slept in the Jeep, ran the engine on and off for heat.

My gear might be rated for zero, but my body doesn't believe it. I've got a thermal sleeping bag liner and an AMK bivy. I haven't tried-out the bivy, but trying to stay wrapped-up in one of those silver blankets while sleeping is impossible for me.

In the cold I think that using a space blanket as a reflector behind you to reflect heat from a trench fire is probably a more effective use. And something to insulate you from the ground is a good idea.
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#238241 - 12/30/11 01:22 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: tomfaranda]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: tomfaranda
I lost track of how many cutting tools you were carrying. Redundancy is good but were you planning on a knife fight?


If I was, I'd just use the gun...

The Vic is a tiny knife and I keep it on my EDC lanyard and use it mostly for the toothpick and tweezers. The Leatherman lives on my belt. It has a knife, but I use the pliers and saw more often. The Mora is my all around expendable bush knife, and it lives in the pack or dangles at my side on a paracord loop (try it). At only 4 oz with the sheath, why not? The big knife is for digging, chopping, and splitting.
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238242 - 12/30/11 01:25 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: TimDex]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: TimDex
"I should not have eaten 4 figs before heading into the bush....."

Glad you carried the 1/2 roll TP in your personal items....

Only the important stuff gets noticed on survival boards...

TW


I had a fig-free excursion in the bottomlands of the Whitewater River today. It's a 27,000 acre state wildlife management area. Much better!
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238247 - 12/30/11 01:44 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: Glock-A-Roo
Byrd, this is for a daytime trip right? What is your estimate of this loadout's weight? What ruck did you use, and how much do you think it weighs?

Also, why so many cutting tools? Is it just because you like them or do you have a system worked out?


I don't have a precise way to measure, so I weighed myself on the bathroom scale both with and without the loaded pack. The difference was about 20 pounds.

As for cutting tools, Each fills a different niche. The Vic Classic hangs on an emergency lanyard and the tiny blade is rarely used, but the scissors and tooth pick are. The Leatherman happens to have a blade, but I carry it as much for the other tools it has. The Mora is my go-to knife for rope, wood shaving, food prep....Cheap, light, expendable. The big knife is for digging and splitting and chopping brush, pine boughs etc. It hangs on my pack and I alternate between an Ontario CT-1 and a Becker BK-7 until someday I decide....

I use a Kelty Redwing rucksack, or a Kelty Oriole lumbar pack in the summer.
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238248 - 12/30/11 01:46 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3580
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
[quote=tomfaranda]

The Vic is a tiny knife and I keep it on my EDC lanyard and use it mostly for the toothpick and tweezers. The Leatherman lives on my belt. It has a knife, but I use the pliers and saw more often. The Mora is my all around expendable bush knife, and it lives in the pack or dangles at my side on a paracord loop (try it). At only 4 oz with the sheath, why not? The big knife is for digging, chopping, and splitting.


Phew! I'm not the only one who uses different tools for different things, that add up to multiple knives in rotation. Afterall, if you need pilars, you might as well carry a leatherman, if I need tweezers..... wink
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#238254 - 12/30/11 02:00 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Dagny]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
[quote=Dagny]
Great info, thanks. I'm also of the pack-heavy mindset. Friends would be shocked if they knew what I carry in my daypack for our walks and bikejoring just around DC.

In Minnesota this time of year, I'd need a Sherpa.

We're slated for our first "Arctic blast" to hit next Tuesday (high temp of 32, low 25).

So into the car goes long underwear and a sleeping bag. In those temps I don't want to risk even a car breakdown inside the Beltway - let alone outside the city.

By the way, in the past few months I've become a fan of the Becker BK series. Started with the BK-2, then the 9 and then the 7 (my fave of the three) and am now delighted with the Becker-Necker.

Have you used the BK-7 on your outings? Do you consider that your wood chopper? Have you carried an axe before?

I'm not sure if I'd choose the BK-7 or my little Gransfors Bruks axe. [quote]

I am moving away from axes in my pack. Three years ago, I found myself in a situation (a story for another day) where I had to go back into the woods to gather firewood in the rain in near-darkness. I was dog-tired from a long day in the woods, and with the rain, I was having trouble gripping the axe. I was camping alone and needed a fire to get warm. A couple of close-calls with the axe convinnced me to use a saw whenever possible. I have a Wetterlings Forest Axe which I treasure, but I don't carry it anymore. I do keep an axe in camp though. I have tried Becker BK-2 and BK-7. I prefer the 7 and alternate carry with an Ontario CT-1. They are both excellent big knives.
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238257 - 12/30/11 02:02 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: bacpacjac]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
[quote=tomfaranda]

The Vic is a tiny knife and I keep it on my EDC lanyard and use it mostly for the toothpick and tweezers. The Leatherman lives on my belt. It has a knife, but I use the pliers and saw more often. The Mora is my all around expendable bush knife, and it lives in the pack or dangles at my side on a paracord loop (try it). At only 4 oz with the sheath, why not? The big knife is for digging, chopping, and splitting.


Phew! I'm not the only one who uses different tools for different things, that add up to multiple knives in rotation. Afterall, if you need pilars, you might as well carry a leatherman, if I need tweezers..... wink


Absolutely. I'm built like a beast of burden, so I carry a lot of extra stuff!
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238259 - 12/30/11 02:10 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: hikermor]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Good post, Byrd....What stands out to me is the differences in environment and the related changes in gear. Only 27 oz of water? I always carry more than that(the West is a lot more arid than the Land of 10,000 lakes). To compensate, I carry fewer knives - typically a Wave and a SAK Classic. Depending upon the terrain, i might throw in a climbing rope (various sizes and weights), a harness, and a few other related items.

Always some food bits and Constant Comment tea - I really like that stuff in the outdoors. I have used the Trangia for years as a stove - simple and really foolproof.

Personally I carry more lights, but a headlamp (PT EOS) is the primary, supplemented by small single battery lights that share battery type with the headlamp, along with a few small pinch lights here and there. My backup light, a Fenix LD01, would be perfectly capable of all night use for hiking, if necessary.


I do have more water in my truck, but there really is no problem getting clean water here. Where I was hiking today, I had to cross a raging torrent on a home made icy log bridge, then followed the river for several miles and finally would have had to wade across a shallow section to continue. It was getting dark in the valley, 300 feet below the bluffs, so thats where the Trangia and CC tea came out. I have a Katydin filter which I carry in summer and I also have two kinds of disinfectant tabs in my PSK. I did have three lights, but I never use any of them except for deer hunting.

You're right when you say that the environment dictates the gear.
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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