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#28165 - 06/08/04 01:38 PM No amount of preparedness...
Dan-e-boy Offline

Registered: 11/22/03
Posts: 52
Loc: Pennsylvania
Sometimes no amount of preparedness can help...this happened just a few miles from my home...it was a very sad day... http://www.cumberlink.com/articles/2004/06/07/news/news01.txt


#28166 - 06/08/04 04:37 PM Re: No amount of preparedness...

Registered: 12/09/02
Posts: 204
Loc: Long Island, New York
Being a city-slicker, what precautions should a person take in setting up a camp? What's the safest distance from trees, and should you avoid camping under dead trees?

#28167 - 06/08/04 05:19 PM Re: No amount of preparedness...
Dan-e-boy Offline

Registered: 11/22/03
Posts: 52
Loc: Pennsylvania
The bad part about this incident is that it was actually in a very well cleared area...the park takes great strides to clear dead and diseased trees that may pose a hazard...the tree that fell on this young boy was neither dead nor diseased and there was no lightning or high winds...it was truly a "freak" accident. So, it would be kind of hard to enjoy the outdoors by totally avoiding trees...I guess this just shows that no matter how safe and careful we try to be, and now matter what level of preparedness we try to attain...one just never knows...

#28168 - 06/08/04 05:55 PM Re: No amount of preparedness...
Polak187 Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York

Few years back we found this nice campsite right of the river that we would pull in everytime we went kayaking. Nothing big or crazy but a lot of trees and really comfortable shade. Tent placement was random and we spaced out pretty far so everyone had enough privacy. Thick vegetation in the crowns of the treest blocked the sun. We did it all summer long. Finally last trip was schedulled for November, Upon pulling into the site there was no vegetation anymore and I looked up. Place where our fire always was and where we all hanged out had an overhang and cought in that crown were huge parts of dead broken branches some just loged in and some just hanging by the bark. We moved to a different place and extablished a new fire ring, in the middle of the night those branches fell down and dug themselves 2-3 feet into the ground. They were up there all summer long and we never knew what hang over us. We usually stay up very late and sometimes I don't even bring the tent and crash right by the fire. If we got some strong winds in the summer I wouldn't even know what hit me.

I'm not awere of any special precautions when setting up the camp near trees althou they tell you not to hide under the tree during T-storm. Personally I use trees to shade me from elements. But I know for sure that besides looking around and on the ground I'm also looking up more often now.


#28169 - 06/08/04 06:25 PM Re: No amount of preparedness...
X-ray Dave Offline

Registered: 11/11/03
Posts: 572
Loc: Nevada
We had a similar thing happen here a few years ago. A tree branch broke off(for no apparent reason) and fell onto a car on the highway, killing the driver.
I believe that falling trees in the jungle kill more people than snake bites.Nothing like weathering the storm in your hammock and hearing trees crash in the darkness.

#28170 - 06/08/04 07:24 PM Re: No amount of preparedness...
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2155
Loc: Bucks County PA
Just this past April, I was standing in the woods behind my house on a windless, warm day, when without warning, an ash tree of about 12" in diamater fell over just 20 feet from me. It was not dead, it just fell. Scared the hell out of me.

#28171 - 06/09/04 12:16 AM Re: No amount of preparedness...
ScottRezaLogan Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/07/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Pttsbg SWestern Pa USA N-Amer....
I Refer Everyone Back to a Post Presumed Lost has Done, on this Topic, in one of our Two Main Forums. (I Think it is on the Survival One). It Goes a Good Ways Back, -so Make Sure you Set your Search Period a Good Ways Back.

Generally, One Shud Pay some Attention and Mind to This. When Setting Up Camp, or Otherwise when out in the Woods, or Among / Near Trees.

There's Only so Much one can Often Do though, when it Comes to this.

Obviously, Survey and Avoid Dead / Unstable, Etc, -Branches and Trees. Doin't Set Up Under the Most Likely Fallature Direction / and Distance Outward from the Tree.

Beyond This, -There's Little to Nothing that can be Done.

Trees are of a Distance and Density in a Typical Forest or Woods, -that Total Avoidance of Being Under Any One's Fall Zone, -is Just Impossible.

Additionally, -We Shud Keep in Mind, -that While the Freak Fall Occurs even with some Perfectly Healthy Trees, and on Perfectly Windless Days!, -*It is Still Quite Very Rare!*

After First Taking What Prudent Observations and Precautions as we Can, -The Rest Often must be just Running the Risk. -And a Quite Rare Risk at That.

I've Seen / Heard a Tree Similarly Fall Right Out of the Blue in some Woods, at least once. (Though in this case, the Tree Wasn't on the Best of Slopes or Soils). (See my own post on Such, Titled "Falling Trees",-on the Survival Forum, I Think).

Though Rare, -Such may Not be so Rare as One may Typically Think. Still it is Rather Rare, and There's again Only So Much One Can Usually Do concerning Such!

Regarding the Comment about How Such Kills More People in the Jungles, than Animals or Whatnot. -Relatively Rare as the Phenonomon is, -I Wouldn't be Surprised if this were True!

I'd Venture that such Tree Falls are More Common in Tropical Jungles, -than in our Temperate Forests and Woods.

By Virtue of Both there being Many Many More Trees! And a Certain Prevalence of Weaker Trees! As Well as Weaker Soil Holds.

And Jungle Populations (Human Now), are Typically Not All that Great to begin with! And Yet Tree Falls can Still Kill More than Animals!

This Reminds me of Something I've Read, -in "Paddling to the Amazon", I Think. It Speaks of Unstable Riverside Cliffs in the Manaus Area. Made of Clay, Chalk, or some Kind of Soil or Something. It just so Happens that the Manaus Area Poor, -Build their Shantytowns there! Or "Favelas", as they Call them in Brazil. And Guess What!? / No Surprise!, -The Book mentions that these Cliffs Commonly Collapse, -from Time to Time. On Shantytowns and their Residents. So just Something of a Heads Up Warning on this, -while on the Topic of Jungle Hazards.

(Many of you of course Know Where Manaus is. But for the Benefit of Anyone who Doesn't, -it's a Rare, Sizeable Metro Area, -Deep in Brazil's Amazon Jungle. As St Louis is on our Mississippi, -Manaus is on the Amazon.).


Back to Trees, Woods, Jungles, and Forests now, -It's Rather Rare!, -But the Freak Fall Occurrance Still Does Occur! And Certain Observations / Assessments have Got to be Made, -then Intelligently Adhered To! But Beyond This, -There's Only So Much Anyone can Really Do! It's just a Risk that has to be Averted to the Max, and Intelligently Run! [color:"black"] [/color] [email]Dan-e-boy[/email]
"No Substitute for Victory!"and"You Can't be a Beacon if your Light Don't Shine!"-Gen. Douglass MacArthur and Donna Fargo.

#28172 - 06/09/04 02:09 AM Re: No amount of preparedness...

I believe that ash trees generally have shallow root systems, so they're prone to falling over -- even in calm weather -- if there's been rain recently and the ground has softened.

#28173 - 06/09/04 06:32 PM Re: No amount of preparedness...

Registered: 12/09/02
Posts: 204
Loc: Long Island, New York
Thanks for the info, guys. I'll be checking those treetops from now on. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

#28174 - 06/09/04 07:23 PM Re: No amount of preparedness...
Nomad Offline

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 479
Loc: Just wandering around.
In our years...hmmm 97 to now..7 years of living on the road, mostly staying at the most remote locations we can find, I have developed a ritual scan of a prospective site.

The obvious things like broken limb in trees, or trees with a weak foundation are obvious. The one that almost got us was more complex.

We were in Maine “upcountry” as they say, and found a nice spot along a little stream. As usual I set out to check the area. Looked great. Wide expanse along the stream, good airflow so the bugs would not be bad and a rather nice bald hill behind us to block any really strong winds. We were there for about an hour, doing our normal things when we finally got time to walk up to the top of the hill for a “peek around”.

Turns out that the hill was a breakaway dam for a spillway on a very large lake. If there would be a heavy rain, the hill would dissolve and the excess water would fill our nice valley in seconds.

No signs, no warnings, but that of course is normal in Maine. Needless to say we moved. It rained a lot that night. We did not go back to check, although I doubt it rained enough to spring the dam.
...........From Nomad.........Been "on the road" since '97

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