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#72304 - 09/01/06 05:41 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
jamesraykenney Offline

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 315
Loc: Beaumont, TX 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.


A tiny transposition error was made in his post.
He was talking about the Foxfire books, not Firefox...
I did not notice the error myself until I tried to find a link for you...
Look at http://www.foxfire.org/ .

#72305 - 09/01/06 05:45 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
My bad, I always get that backwards. Sorry about the confusion

#72306 - 09/01/06 05:52 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
jamesraykenney Offline

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 315
Loc: Beaumont, TX USA
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.

<img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />ROTFLMAO <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

You would not happen to live in Texas would you?
Sounds an awful lot like my area...

Edited by jamesraykenney (09/01/06 05:55 AM)

#72307 - 09/01/06 05:56 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
I lived in Texas for awhile but now I live in Alabama. We have a really mild climate here.

#72308 - 09/01/06 06:29 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
aloha Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1047
Loc: Hawaii, USA
Mahalo everyone.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am enjoying reading this post (and all the others too, of course).

#72309 - 09/01/06 06:49 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
AROTC Offline

Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
Well Boacrow, you make plenty of good points both on the merits of minimalistic survival skills and property owner rights. That said, I do have a few sticking points I'd like to address. The first is about your comment that the Indians were doing fine while the poineers were suffering and starving in the same area. First, the Indians were living in tribes and familiar with the territory and it's characteristics. Often times the pioneers were living in small family units of fewer then ten people with miles between neighbors. The pioneers were also living in unfamiliar country, and there were no edible plant books or internet to help them out. One of the harshest if not the harshest punishment for an Indian was banishment from the tribe. A Indian without a tribe was as good as a European doing the sundown shadow dance (I just love that euphemism for hanging), dead. Second point on the Indian culture is that, using population as a measuring stick, Indians were far less successful then their European counterparts. When Europeans first arrived the total population of the US area of North America was at most a couple million people (i don't have exact numbers off the top of my head). By the Civil War the European decended population was approximately 29 million (twenty in the Union and nine in the Confederacy).

As for the efficacy of your techniques, I cannot and will not comment citing both a lack of experiance on my part and a lack of observation of your specific techniques. I will say that flint knapping , debris huts, and friction fire are excellent skills to learn and to practice (see my signature) , if only because of the calming effect that knowledge has in an emergency. On the other hand, given an extreme long-term survival situation, I will tend towards a garden with squash plants, corn and beans; a small forge, and a sod house.
Finally, if you want another "primative" group to study. Look up Skara Brae. It's a village about 5000 years old on the Orkney islands in Scotland. About 50 -100 people lived and thrived in the very harsh environment of the North Sea. The trick, as with all long term survival, was the tribe/village which acted as a vessel for accumulated knowledge and cooperation.
A gentleman should always be able to break his fast in the manner of a gentleman where so ever he may find himself.--Good Omens

#72310 - 09/02/06 03:25 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
You're right, we come from very different places. Where I come from, the air can kill you in winter. And our soil is low clay, high organic matter, it's basically a sponge until it is supersaturated.

Without intending to throw stones, anyone can stay alive at 50 degrees unless they are unlucky (ie, eaten, struck by lightening, tree limb falls off and hits you in the head) or stupid (ie, cleaning game in camp, eating poison ivy, petting a rattlesnake). That's why I snickered at your comment about Les Stroud saying he was hungry- you've obviously never seen a beaver pond after the beavers have moved on, at 40 degrees- not much life in it that isn't dug half a foot into the mud. (Good luck finding it.)

You're right, I want to see this 20'x20' lean to of yours. And when you take pictures, I will take them at face value. But I want to see it. And for one reason- I don't doubt that it can be built, but I don't believe the "few minutes" claim, becuase I've built that type of shelter and it takes longer than that if you factor in your time to gather materials. I agree it takes only a few minutes to put up the major frames, but the cross pieces and the roof, I've got to see this. I also question the point of a leanto that big, unless you are using it to store, say, firewood and lots of it.

The reason why I have a hard time beliving your claim that you use pines is mostly based on your time factor. Pines, at least every kind I've ever met, has long skinny needles that cluster on the end of the branch. Sure, enough of it would make a waterproof roof, but there are so much better options that don't require as much time, effort, or materials- even grass bundles work better. Maybe "pine" is a generic term for all conifers in your usage, much like "coke" can be a generic term for all carbonated soft drinks south of the Mason-Dixon line. If you had said you were using spruce or fir or even tammarac, I could see it. If I see a picture of what you are using, I may grant you the quality of being ignorant (a correctable character flaw) rather than a con.

Oh, and FYI, I've spent an entire summer in high school living as you are proposing. My first mentor spent time on Mindano, in Tailand, and in Liberia, living and working with the indigenous peoples (who were mostly iron age cultures then), and those techniques are what he taught me (all REALLY rainy places). My second mentor was an archeologist and anthropologist specializing in the nations of the Iriquois Conferederacy and it's technology, along with the first whites to settle in thier territory (which I live in and am decended from). Those are the techniques I used that summer, and every other time. And guess what, in a hostile climate, the roof leaks- thatch, sod, anything but skins gets issues with a driving rain. But maybe you don't have driving rain.

As for your humidity, I didn't see that in your post. If it was in the initial one, I owe you a partial apology becuase that has been part of my questioning, but I have to ask- if was that hot and humid, why were you using a sleeping bag? Put out your pad, and sleep on top of it, and keep your bag well away from you. And if you are having condensation issues in a tent due to humidity, open the vents. It really is that easy- no small part of why I've been so incredulous is a tent is basically a lean to with two leans, and if you can make a lean to drip proof, then you should have applied the same principles of ventilation to your tent.

As for why I try to leave few traces, there's a lot of reasons. First and foremost, I see myself, as a land holder, as the temporary steward of the land. The land isn't going to end when I die, I hold it in trust for other residents of the land, current and future. That, and if I use too much of a resource in practice, when the stuff hits the fan, it won't be there when it is needed- renewable and short term are not the same thing. But I can already see you may already be beyond understanding the ethical and long term survival issues associated with stripping the limbs off the number of pines that would be required to make what you have proposed work.

Part of the reason I am dubious of long term living with primative techniques has to do witht he points AROTC aluded to- you are trying to use the techniques of cultures that had nearly 100% mortality by 40. The biggest issue after illness was exposure. No one lived in lean tos except on a temporary basis, due to the open sides. But then again, maybe your climate doesn't have exposure as an issue, although if you don't, I'm baffeled as to where you are getting your pine boughs, or anything else.

But the biggest reason I've taken acception to you, is your questioning of my knowledge of the natural enviroment, and science in general. I'm one of those annoying genius type people who tutored various maths (including geometery, so I know what a square is, boy), enviromental science, physics and chemistry while working on my engineering degree. On top of spending every summer until my sophmore year of high school outside, although every vacation until I graduated college was pretty much a sans-house experince. I sorta know a lot about the natural world, both the theories and the practices, along with the world of man.

That's why I say, color me unimpressed, you couldn't stay dry in a tent- it isn't rocket science. This equipment is designed to be as idiot proof as possible if it is quality, and only an idiot would try to use trash gear.

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.

#72311 - 09/02/06 03:51 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
bmisf Offline

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 185
Well put, Ironraven.

I would not be shocked if boacrow does what he says, but I fall on your side of the philosophical, ethical, and practical divides...

(I grew up camping in the Adirondacks, and now camp extensively throughout California, especially in Winter; I can and have built natural shelters including lean-tos, snow caves, quinzees; I can start a fire all kinds of ways; but I have to say I like camping in bivy sacks and tents (which keep me comfy and dry with proper siting and technique), and leaving no trace...)

#72312 - 09/02/06 04:09 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
massacre Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 781
Loc: Central Illinois
Iron, I believe you mean "exception." <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

**Massacre dons flame proof suit after reading and laughing at this exchange**

It's too bad this got personal. Anyway, if you guys want to keep up the public pissing match, feel free - I like the entertainment - otherwise, boarcrow, I think you are either going to need to prove your point with pics or video or let this whole thing drop. I figured I would throw in my two cents before CK slams this one shut. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

#72313 - 09/02/06 04:38 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
You obviously have a problem with me Ironraven. I don't think anything I could do would change the way you see me, or the way you behave on this forum. I had decided to go ahead and build the shelter, take pics and post them here, but that won't stop the personal attacks, and the rude behavior that I have been subjected to. Instead I have decided that I will build the shelter, and take pics, but they will only be sent to those people on here who have remained respectful. You can get them from someone else. I don't know why I'm going to do this to be honest since obviously the only people who think it can be done are the people who have actually seen me do it. Why this is such a big deal I will never know. I do know however that I am quite tired of the personal attacks, so if you don't mind, please tone it down a bit. I don't mind having rational conversation, but you go a bit too far. If I am out of line here, please say so, but I don't think my request is unreasonable. If you don't believe I can do it, that's fine, wait for me to provide proof.I would ask everyone to give me that courtesy and I would have no problem at all extending the same courtesy to them. Personally, I don't buy alot of your claims, but true or not, it's not worth starting a fight over. I would like to know everyones opinion on this. Am I being too unreasonable? Am I offending anyone? Have I caused undue hardship on anyone?If so please tell me so that I can remedy the situation and make ammends. Maybe I can do it and maybe I can't. Is all of this really necesary to find out? Couldn't you just ask me how, and maybe ask for some pictures so you can better understand what I am talking about? If I can do it, wouldn't you like to know how? Do you honestly think that I really want to take time to teach someone something if they have disrespected me from the very begining? If I can't do it, then so be it, but what if I can? Do you expect me to believe that the abuse will stop if I do it? Why don't you prove to me that you can be a respectful adult? And the old "you have to earn respect" thing doesn't fly with me. My original post was in no way disrespectful to you or anyone else. Sure I lost my temper when you started slinging mud and I appologize for that. I will do my very best to not let it happen again. All I ask in return is that, until I do something to deserve the disrepect you are giving me, please try to be respectful in your posts. If you feel that this is not a fair solution, then I am truly saddened. If anyone else here feels like I have disrespected this forum, or any of it's members, please let me know. If what I am proposing here is unfair, or in any way unreasonable, please let me know. I appologize for ever getting this started. For the most part it has wasted everyones time, and nothing has been gained from it. In the future I will be more mindful of what I say and how I say it.

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