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#72294 - 08/31/06 07:43 PM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
I would rather have both. And a 50lb pig is 50lb of pissed off mean. Especially when it knows that it's choices are between victory or baconhood.
As for the Natives, most of them have been doing this from birth. The rest of us are starting somewhat later in life. One interesting point is the alacrity with which Mr Native will trade his chipped flint knife and carved bow & arrows for a steel knife and the white man's smoke pole. Not to mention matches. Something that is badly worrying the Elders amonst the Inuit. Amonst others. <img src="/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#72295 - 08/31/06 09:34 PM Re: My latest outing
joaquin39 Offline

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 149
Loc: Philadelphia,Pennsyvania, USA.
You went out for more than 2 months and you gain 20#s. Could you give more details about that?. Where did you find the food or did you carry it? Where you camping out of a car or did you carry all the food for 2 months? Or you lived off the land?. It sound very interesting to me. I am serious about it and would like that you illustrate on how you accomplished that. Thanks <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

#72296 - 08/31/06 11:06 PM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
jamesraykenney Offline

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 315
Loc: Beaumont, TX USA
Glad to have you here...
When I think back at all the knowledge that I could have gotten from the older people when I was a kid...
But I was not interested in the outdoors when I was a kid(except for shooting).
I have some OLD camping and survival books, and if I showed them to any of the modern campers, they would probably have a heart attack when they saw that people would cut wood and actually make a raised bed to sleep on. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Some of them are big in the leave-no-trace movement and think that because an archaeologist can find somewhere where a fire was made thousands of years ago, that you should not make a campfire... <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> It is sad really... So much knowledge is being lost every year... I am glad that the internet came along when it did, or we would probably loose all of the old knowledge...
Sites like http://www.outdoors-magazine.com/ are keeping the old knowledge alive and even trying to rediscover lost information by doing things like study old tools, like axes and knives to find out WHY they were made like they were...

#72297 - 09/01/06 02:23 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
Leigh, I am in complete agreement with you about trading stone tools for more modern ones. That just makes sense, and it is a fact that that is exactly what happened. It's also exactly what I would do. However, if the need arises due to circumstances beyond my control, I feel better knowing that I have that option to fall back on. I also agree with you about the pig thing up to a point. A lrge pig with tusks is a force to be reckoned with no doubt, but a 50 lb pig isn't that hard to take on. They do put up a fight but they are extremely riid animals with very limited mobility. I have taken on pigs that are around 50 to 75 pounds. One that size is roughly equivalent to a mid size dog. Due to their limited range of motion, I can just fall on their back and pull the front legs down towards the back ones and that's pretty much that. Of course I have spent alot of time learning animal behavior and have found that even the most unpredictable animals give signs as to what they are planning. Shifting weight from one side to another, bowing the head, watching the feet to see which one is planted or dug in, all of these things provide clues as to what they might do. This is not something that I recommend to someone with no experience mind you. I have been dealing with the most deadly animals on the planet for years (right now I have a timber rattlesnake, a southern copperhead, several black widows that I breed, and an African fat-tail scorpion) and I have had to learn animal behavior. I know, I am weird, I get that alot. Anyway, pigs aren't a problem until they get some size on them, then I don't even want to hang one in a snare.
To joaquin, when I went out on that outing, I was having some personal troubles at the time. suffice it to say it was out of necessity that I went on that trip in the first place. When I went I was racked with nervous problems and wasn't eating right. In fact I was underweight. After being in the woods for a week or two and doing some serious soul searching and self reflection, I came to terms with the situation that led me to that point in the first place. This was when I started eating again. It literally saved my life to get away from the distractions and clear my head again. I fed on birds, crayfish, rabbits, dandelion greens, bamboo shoots and other assorted goodies. Trust me on this though, crow is not one of the better birds to eat. Turkey is much better. Pigeon is ok but not much meat on it.
To James, I appreciate where you are coming from. It saddens me also to see the kowledge that once sustained our forefathers drift away on the wind. I agree with you completely. I can also relate to the old books you spoke of. I have read many of them and I think it's a shame that things have changed so much. Some of the best books I have read are the Firefox series that covers alot of the older ways. The books are basically a compendium of stories from mountain folk who still use primitive ways on a daily basis for everything from making soap, to gardening, building log cabins, and a host of other skills. The stories are really great and some of the superstitions are really something to read. The lifestyle is anything but mainstream, but it's also something that's close to me since I grew up with people just like the ones in the stories. I recommend the books to everyone looking for some great entertainment and awesome enlightenment. There is so much to learn in this life and so little time to do it. I wish more people felt the way you do James.

#72298 - 09/01/06 03:40 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
First off, boy, if you being on high ground magically keeps you dry, how come your tent was wet? Oh, wait, becuase it doesn't!

Second, it takes more than a few minutes to get the framework of a 20'x20' shelter up, and a lot more than four knots. What you've described sounds like a lean to. Without supporting cross pieces, what youv'e described won't work, so maybe you left out your "secret step". No, it's going to take more than a few minutes to gather your frame poles and ready them. And a lot more than a few minutes to put a skin on it.

I've got to see a picture of this. A 20' wide lean to is such a waste of resources and time, it should be immortalized.

As for using pine, wow... How many pine trees do you strip for this? Pines suck for waterproofing- too skinny, too much space for drips to get through. If you had said ceder or spruce or certain firs, I'd belive you. If you had said you were stripping bark in sheets, I'd belive you, but at least I wouldn't think too much less of you. But PINE BOUGHS! Don't make me laugh.

By the way, I grew up camping in woods, in all seasons. I've been soloing since Regan was in office, and usually without a tent. I've built my own bow, and javelins with atl atl, and thrusting spears. I've made and used fire bows (with and without flywheels), spindles and troughs, and with flint and steel. (Hell, I carry a piece of pyrite and a piece of jasper with me when I'm flying, and list them as "gifts".) I've built lean tos like you're describing, brush shelters, proper long houses, yerts and teepees from the raw materials, and even a hay bale house. I've brain tanned and smoked hides. And I've played the "without even a knife" game before. I know how primative techniques fail- I like something with a lower failure rate.

As for water flowing up hill, let's just say that I probably know more about water than you do. I have watched if flow up hill, pushed by a 60 mile per hour wind gust. And I've watched it soak the ground, wicked uphill by the soil. And if you knew anything at all about lean tos, you'd know that keeping one dry is a bad joke becuase *gasp* the wind shifts. And you'd also know that aren't worth squat except as a break for the prevailing wind, they can't keep you warm. I've built several scores of them.

I can stay warm and dry in pretty much any weather conditions, and I leave no traces behind. You failed with a tent and sleeping bags, something which I would consider so fundamentally basic that if I failed I would consider suicide or at least sterilization. When I go out, I use a tarp (a faster lean to- I need one piece of paracord crosswise, a line in each corner, and four anchors or stakes, in about five minutes if it's blowing and I have to fight with the tarp), a hammock, paracord, and a sleeping bag. I stuff the sleeping bag a bivy bag if it's raining or blowing hard, becuase of wind shifts. I've done that in bone dry weather, driving rain, and blizzards, with winds up to 40mph, and in tempuratures ranging from 100 above to around 0- at zero, I build a snow cave, and usually before. And other than holes in the snow and ashes, you can't tell I was there a month later.

So I AM sticking to what I know. Are you? Becuase you've made some statements that start at outlandish, and range down from there.

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.

#72299 - 09/01/06 04:26 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
KI6IW Offline

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 203
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, USA
I have been following this thread with some interest, to see what the reactions of various “regulars” would be. I think that most people here understand that less technological solutions exist in survival and preparedness situations. For example, as I look around the room, I see my utility powered light. If my electrical utility fails, I have a battery-powered flashlight. As the batteries begin to go dead, I have a candle. But do I want to start with a candle and go down the technology ladder from there? Not if I can have other choices. Can I make a candle? Probably, given enough time, materials, and experimentation. And assuming that I have that surplus time, because I am not hunting, gathering, farming, finding water, shelter building, etc.

Following my analogy a bit farther, if you understand how to make a candle with ease, please tell us all about it. We are eager to learn and understand.

Now, directly to the point: A 20 by 20-foot shelter is 400 square feet. That is the size of a studio apartment. What do you do with all of the room, since you have minimal gear to shelter? And if you are skilled at building strong, sturdy, efficient shelters from minimal equipment quickly and easily, please borrow a digital camera and a yardstick from a friend (if you do not already own them), take them to your favorite wilderness area, and take lots of pictures of the process (with the yardstick in the photos, to provide scale). We are here to learn.
"We are not allowed to stop thinking"

#72300 - 09/01/06 04:43 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
aloha Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1047
Loc: Hawaii, USA
Aloha Boacrow,

I am enjoying your posts and would like to hear more stories of your exploits. Maybe a little more details so a tenderfoot like me can learn more from your experiences.

By the way, tell me more about the Firefox series you alluded to. I was unsuccessful in my google search using firefox and book.


#72301 - 09/01/06 04:48 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Angel Offline

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 192
I just happen to have that series of books and they are really worth the read. Here's where you can find them. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search...ag2=over-std-20

#72302 - 09/01/06 05:25 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
Wow. I'm sorry you feel that way. I'll try to address each point you bring up in turn and hopefully I won't miss anything.
1. High ground not keeping the tent dry
In my first post, I thought that I made it clear that the tent was not wet from the rain. It was muggy, I was sweating, ergo everything I touched got wet. The high ground wasn't a factor in this case, however it has been a factor in the past. Wicking action is minimal at best. That's why after a light rain, you can move a car and it's still dry underneath. Assuming however you are caught in torrential hurricane force weather. There are things you can do. Bank dirt around the site. It doesn't have to be the great wall of China, just a few inches is all it takes. This will slow the flow of water. Also if you keep the area heated, the water evaporates quite readily. Contrary to your implication, water doesn't pour through dirt like it isn't there. Capilary action does take time. Whatever the combination of factors at play, I haven't had a flooded shelter yet.
2.The knot count.
As I have stated before, I basically start with a square frame. When I was very young, I learned what a square was. It is a polygonal shape with four equalateral sides. Now on this point I must be a bit vague as I don't claim that my squares are exactly "square". But I do know they have exactly four corners to them. These have to be tied. These are the only things that have to be tied as I am about to explain. You see, there is a force in nature called gravity. I try to use this force whenever possible to make tasks easier. This is how it works. I take four poles, lash them together at the ends. Takes about ten minutes to do all four. Now I have a frame. That was easy you may say, but now what? Well, now you get it in the tree. For this you will need a tree for each corner that you have tied. Sometimes it may be three, or two or five or whatever. You can use poles to make up the remainder of the missing trees if you like but I can usually find four trees that are roughly positioned correctly. At this point I would like to point out that I only hang one half of the frame in the trees until I get it "shingled". For the hanging process you may need something to stand on. I usually throw a line over a limb and drag it up hooking the frame over a limb. Now that we have half in the trees and half on the ground, we take some large boughs and limbs and whatnot and hang them on the frame using branches that should always be pointing down as hooks. As long as the branches are hanging all in one direction. Remember gravity? This is the time to start using it. Once the branches are in place, hoist the other end of the frame up into the trees and hook them on slightly lower branches than the previous ones. Now you are ready to go. If you haven't done it properly it will leak. If this is a problem just throw more branches up there making sure that they are facing the same direction. You can do this all day if you like but I've found that it doesn't take that long. Now that I've told you how to get a shelter up with only four knots, I will tell you how to put walls on it. Simply lay poles against it on the sides. Remember the gravity thing? Do the same thing as you did to the top except for hanging the other end in a tree. That will just make more roof. It's not pretty but it does work. Oh, and you don't have to use pine either. It's just handy around here. I have also used oak, mimosa, and others as well. Mimosa incidentally doesn't last very long but the poles are usually quite straight.
3.Using pine boughs
This actually works believe it or not. The funny thing is, it works for exactly the same reason you claim keeps the ground wet in a shelter. Capilary action. Now here's a simple test that can show you how this works. Take an ordinary piece of string and hold it under a small stream of water. Hold it horizontally but tip it slowly to the vertical plane. You will see as to tilt the string that the water will tend to follow it. It's the same with pine needles. they carry the water right off the side that's the lowest. As for the density of the needles, you obviously aren't familliar with pine. They are very dense. and even if you somehow come to a forest filled with pines that look like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, then you just use more of them. So far it hasn't been an issue for me.
4. Your prowess.
If you have built several scores of lean-to's and still can't get it right, color me unimpressed. Personally, if I can't get it to work within two or three tries, I move on to something else. I don't keep doing it. You know, the whole doing the same thing expecting different results concept.
5.Staying warm and dry.
I have no problem there. I live in a climate that is quite pleasant so barring a major climate shift, I don't have to build snow huts or igloos. I know how, I just don't have to. About the coldest we get down here is maybe in the teens and I camp in that with no problem. Oh and we don't lose snowmobiles in lakes here either. Our lakes are liquid and we can remember where we left them. Someone mentioned that to me awhile back although I don't remember who.
6.Leaving no trace.
I'm not quite sure I know why this is important. I must confess that I've used fire pits for quite some time and never destroyed not one single forest. In fact they are all still there. I do know that I have gone back to a place that I've camped at a few months later, and there was a nice fresh coat of leaves over everything. I couldn't see the fire pit anymore, but I knew it was there. How exactly does leaving no trace help? As far as I can tell, leaving no footprints only satisfies the aesthetic principles of the person that camped there. No one has ever complained about my fire pits except the few people on here who have never seen my fire pits. I'm not sure how a fire pit does so much damage long after I'm gone, but I'm sure there are statistics. If you have them handy I would love to read them over sometime. I love statistics. Oh and as for my shelters, if I'm not coming back, it's the last thing on the fire. If I am coming back, I don't care who sees it. They shouldn't be there anyway, it's private land.
So I hope I addressed all your concerns. If not, I am sure I will hear about it. I would think being the outdoorsman that you are, msot of this stuff would be insanely simple to you. Guess it's a little different where you come from.

#72303 - 09/01/06 05:38 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
Good point KI6IW. I also quite liked the analogy by the way. Actually, I am planning on going out soon and making a shelter for he express purpose of taking photos of it. Hopefully this will satisfy people, however I don't think it will. I'm sure it will satisfy some, but there will be the naysayers claiming photoshop or some other such nonsense. I'm going to do it anyway. At least people will be able to see what I use for shelter. Whether they believe it or not after the photos, I just don't care anymore. There is no satisfying some people. Just for the record, I do use technology. I know how to survive under the most primitive of conditions, but when I camp, I like to bring fear with me.I do "rough it" from time to time just to keep in practice, but for the most part, I carry equipment with me. You sound like one of the more intelligent people I've interacted with here so I know you understand that I mean no disrespect, I'm simply trying to state my case.

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