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#68455 - 07/03/06 01:43 AM Re: time in kit
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
"just add water" scotch?

BLASPHEMER!! Water and scotch never go together, not even ice. Chill it in the bottle.

Then again, I belive that you should never drink scotch that is younger than a woman you would date.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#68457 - 07/03/06 03:53 PM Re: time in kit
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
LOL! No, I was kidding. I admit to being a scotch purist.

Now, as for the stoning, yes. A nice, 25 to 35 year old Glenmorangie or Laphroaig, 3 fingers full in a tumbler, chilled in the bottle so there is no water to dilute it. Repeat the procedure at ten minute intervals until you confess and repent your sins (and recieve absolution), or are cross eyed. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#68458 - 07/03/06 04:42 PM Re: time in kit
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
The "wilderness protocol" or maybe some personal variation of it, would require some fairly precise timekeeping, or you would totally miss the communications window or else waste batteries by monitoring or transmitting when the other party isn't listening.

As someone else mentioned, knowing how long until it gets dark (OK, maybe you don't know sunset on the first day, but from there on out, you would know) will help you plan your actions. If it's three hours till sunset and your next travel leg is at least four hours, then maybe it's best to stay put. A similar situation is if there is some dawn-to-dusk curfew in place and you really don't want to be caught outside when the curfew is in effect. Obviously, you can tell that the sun is going down by just looking at it, but a watch will give you a better indicator of the amount of daylight left when the sun is still relatively high in the sky. Maybe some of us can eyeball the time this way, but I've never developed the skill. If you need to set up a rotating watch, e.g. taking turns watching a nearby river through the night during flood conditions, then having a watch keeps things equitable.

When purifying water, obviously a watch will help you purify the water long enough, whether through boiling or chemical disinfection. But it would also help you from needlessly wasting fuel or waiting too long for chemical disinfection when you're really in need of water as soon as possible. And if you need to repeat the treatment, e.g. using chorine bleach drops, then you could waste a lot of time going through the process a couple times without having a reliable indicator of time.

Weather warnings are usually in effect for set amounts of time. If you really want to go out on the road but you know that there is a flash flood warning for three hours, you can stay put for the shortest time without unnecessarily putting yourself in danger. The warnings are always broadcast when they are issued, but there's often no broadcast when one expires, so you have to keep track of them yourself. Or maybe you know about the alert when it's issued, but don't have a radio/TV handy when it expires.

Anyway, just some random time-related activities.

Edited by Arney (07/03/06 05:34 PM)

#68459 - 07/03/06 08:07 PM Re: time in kit
brian Offline

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
For what it's worth, I have a samll simple but rugged 300m waterproof watch in my backpack-sized kit. The amount of space/weight it comsumes is basically nothing. I don't always wear a watch these days (although I have my eye on a cool Suunto Xlander that may change that in the future) so I figure having a simple watch in my kit is nice for telling time once the battery on my cell phone (my current edc watch) wears down... which of course won't take long.
Learn to improvise everything.

#68460 - 07/05/06 06:00 PM Re: time in kit
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Before this weekend, I wouldn't think of a watch as a useful tool. But after going on a short backpacking trip, I've now changed my mind, I would definitely include a watch in your kit.

This weekend I decided to try out some bare minimum backpacking up in the mountains (at around 8-10K ft), just to see what I would and would not be useful if it was an emergency. I wasn't out to survive on just my EDC, but I did carry a lot less than usual. The one thing both me and my friend commented on was that we were definitely going to bring watches next time. Normally i don't even wear a watch, so it never occured to me to bring one when camping. But as everyone else mentioned, knowing how much time until sunset can be very important, and being able to estimate the time when it's overcast or you're deep in the forest is impossible. There were at least 3 times during this overnight trip that we both wished we had a watch.

1) Arrived at the campsite around 1 pm, set up camp, and both of us took a nap. After waking up, we were trying to decide whether we had enough time to hike up to the summit and back (5 hour trip), but neither of us knew how long we had slept and if it was 2 pm or 6 pm, so we didn't want to be stuck on the trail at night.

2) Cooking dinner. After boing water and dumping it in the freeze dried bag, we were supposed to wait for 10 minutes or so for every 5000 feet of elevation. We basically just waited a lot longer than necessary because we didn't want to keep opening the bag and let the heat out, but a watch could have been handy.

3) Waking up the in the morning to start hiking before sunrise, again, we didn't know whether it was 2 am or 6 am. When I woke up, it was pitch black, so I wasn't really sure how long I'd been asleep. We waited until it started getting lighter just so we knew it was morning, but a watch (with an alarm) would have been better, because we could've started the hike an hour or two earlier.

The few things I learned was it's not always easy to estimate what time it is from the sun, especially if there is no sun (at night). And you lose all sense of time when you're away from civilization, ten minutes can feel like an hour, or four hours can feel like one hour. From now on, I'm going to start carrying a cheap battery operated watch in my backpack.

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