I was one who was not enthusiastic about chain saws and suggested alternative, so I suppose I may be the alleged perp, although, frankly, i am far from an "armchair quarterback" when it comes to cold weather, all confronted without a chainsaw (usually).

I have spent weeks,mostly above timberline, relying on uninsulated tents and adequate clothing to stay comfy. As my brother, living in Bemidji, MN, likes to say, "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing." Choosing a good shelter location, out of both the wind and cold air drainages, is quite important.

Temperatures do not have be all that cold for hypothermia to be an issue. I have never been colder than the time i made four scuba dives, fairly extended, in water 48- 50ish degrees F. Emerging from my last dive, I shivered uncontrollably until I warmed up. i was much colder than my -80F experience on Denali, where I was properly dressed for conditions. Wind is a hugely important factor in hypothermia, causing problems in rather mild conditions. For that matter, an essential clothing item is suitably windproof parka shell, usually over insulating layers. Keeping dry is also very important.

I can understand that in heavily forested areas, a chainsaw might well be a handy item, not only for firewood, but also for clearing a path through the occasional blowdown. When it comes strictly to firewood, I have always been able to gather firewood easily by collecting dead wood bare handed, occasionally breaking larger pieces by stomping - no need for either a hatchet or saw, even in snowy conditions. I have never felt the need to baton anything at all.

The most effective fire I have ever built was in the Arizona desert where our wood was desert ironwood, no pieces larger than 2" in diameter. We cooked a nice dinner, letting the flames die down. In the morning, the cols were still glowing, and our coffee and eggs were ready in jg time. I hated to extinguish that fire.

These days I rarely build fires. Canister and alcohol stoves, along with processed fuels (Esbit et al) work very well. But I still carry various means of igniting a wood fire, because you never know....

We now return you to our regularly programmed heated discussion.

Edited by hikermor (02/01/20 06:03 PM)
Geezer in Chief