PATAGONIA And TIERRA DEL FUEGO - We've been up in the North Circumpolar Area for a while, Now Lets Return to the South.

The South American Continent, to which This Area Belongs, Does Stretch Far Enuf South, Far Enuf Toward Antarctica, To Be Well Out of the Tropics. A Good Part of it's Southern Reaches are at the Latitude and Climate of Northern Canada. (Though Not of Canada's Norternmost Queen Elizabeth Islands, -Just Think of Much of Continental Northern Canada, for such Climatic Comparisons.)

Patagonia is the Majority of Southern Argentina, and Much of Southern Chile.

It is Certainly Cold Enuf, to Qualify under "Earth's Wildest Places, -COLD.

There is Far Less Land, and Far More Ocean, in the Southern Hemisphere than in the North. And What Land there is, Usually Doesn't Stretch toward it's Southern Pole, as Land Masses Do in the Northern. The South American Continent though, is a Great and Noteable Exception.

True, Much More of It is the Amazon, the Orinoco, the Andes, the Pantanal, the Chaco, the Pampas, the Atacama, the Altiplano, the Guyanas, the Cerrado-Caatinga-Sertao, the Llanos, the Brazilian Grasslands of it's Center-West, the Selvas, the Mato Grosso, the Tepuis, and Chile's Great Central Valley. With the Exception of the Towering Andes, -Most of Those are Tropical or Subtropical. This is What South and Latin America is So Well Known for!

But a Cold Area!? Many would Not Readily Think so! But Sure Enuff It Does, in This Other Well Known Area of Patagonia and the Tierra Del Fuego. At least it's Names are Well Known, -if Not so much it's Cold Clime.

Also somewhat Unique for Cold Areas of the World, -This Area is Quite Tapered and Skinny, -what is known as the Southern Cone. The Further South toward the Antarctic you go, the Thinner Patagonia and Tierra Gets. It's Quite a Different Affair in the Cold Northern Regions, where These tend to be major Continental Land Masses. Similarly the Arctic and Antarctic Play these Reverse Roles. Everything seems to be Reversed in the Southern Hemisphere!, from Seasons to Weather System Soins to This!

This is Relevant to the Fact that Nowhere in the Cold South, is All that Far from Surrounding Oceans.

But the Mighty Andes Mountains, the Second Greatest Range on Earth!, Plays the Spoiler here! They Put Up a Great Rain Shadow Wall, Against the Moisture Laden, Pacific Prevailing Westerlies! With the Vast Part of Patagonia being East of this, it's as if it were Deep Inland! Patagonia is an Increasingly Cold, Dry Desert. (Though Not so Much as say the Sahara or Sonora.)

Isolated, Bare, Barren, Chilled, and Rocky, Few People Live here. It Truly is One of the World's Great Wild Places!

The much Thinner Chilean Side of the Southern Andes now, Chilean Patagonia, is in Contrast very Wet, Windy, and Rainy! But Cold as well! Much of it's Well Forested!, some of the Most Untouched, Unspoilt, and Spandiferous on the Planet! But even This Increasingly Thins and Bleakens the Further South you Go!

Quit Thinking of the South as Warm!, if you Are. Think of It as we Do our Cool to Cold North! For Down Here, -Thats Exactly What it Is! Again, So Much is Reversed, Down There!

Finally, Both Chilean and Argentine Patagonia Merge in their Southernmost Reaches, -of Tierra del Fuego. This is also the Coldest, and Bleakest Area, once again. This is the Land of the Fabled Cape Horn, the Southernmost, Storm Tossed Tip of the South American Continent! It's the Land of Both Magellan's and Darwin's Famous Voyages.

It's the Gateway to Antarctica!, Across the Drake Passage. Some 600 - 800 Miles from Antarctica Itself! Though Thats admittedy with a Great, North Reaching Peninsular Extension of Antarctica, -The Palmer Peninsula. You'd have to again Go another 700 Miles or so, Before you're Really at the Main Antarctic Landmass and Icesheet. But Still even the Tip of the Palmer, is at the "Latiquivalent" of Central Alaska! And Tierra / Cape Horn is about 55 Degrees South, the Latiquivalent of Central Ungava / Quebec, or Central British Colombia and Prairie Provinces. From Tierra Locales like Ushuaia and Puntas Arenas, Argentina and Chile Meets the Antarctic.

Tierra Del Fuego is a Part of Greater Patagonia, but With Additional Character All it's Own. As Long Island is a Part of New York State, but also Different Enuf to have Much Flavor and Character All it's Own! Considerably Different in Ways, yet Not so Totally Separate or Apart. They are Their Own Identities, but They are also Both Patagonia.

Tierra del Fuego is the Size of one of our Typical Eastern States, say Indiana or West Virginia. While Patagonia as a Whole, might be at about the Size and Area of Alaska.

These More Southern Andes technically are also a Part of Patagonia, but are Better Viewed as being a Part of the Andes as a Whole. They Peter Out to Much Lower Heights in the Tierra Area. Making One Last Showing, in the Spectacular Cliff Heights of Cape Horn!

Actually, a Small and Obscure Group of Non-Descript, Rocky Islands, is a Little Further South than the Horn. The Islas Diego Ramirezes. This is the True and Technical, Southernmost Reach of the Continent, -Indeed of All the Americas. But By and Large, the Horn Justifiably is It!

Talk About the Constantly Worst Sea and Weather Conditions on the Planet, or Something rather Close to It!, -These Waters are It! Rounding the Horn, can Pretty Well be Called the Supreme Test of Seamanship! It Follows that Conditions Onshore in Tierra, Can't Be Much Better!

Fortunately there are some *Comparatively* Calmer Water Passages Cutting Across Tierra del Fuego, such as the Beagle Channel and Strait of Magellan, which Makes it at least somewhat Better Sailing.

"Tierra del Fuego", as many know, Means "Land of Fire" From Magellan's sighting of Many Indian Campfires on the Nearby Shore, Ruffing it in this Bleak Land of Their's, which they Knew so Intimately Well.

I Don't Know just What, Patagonia may Mean.

Just as well, for the Most Important thing to Know, is just What Patagonia and the Tierra is!

A Ruff, Sparsely Isolated, Windswept, Cold, Predominantly Dry Land! With Pretty Much only One Difference in it's West, and Southern Tierra. And thats Wet and Rain! And it is Mostly Plains and Plateau, as well. It's Less Prevalent Andes Mountains, are what Makes it So Dry! A Cold, Empty, Arid Region!

However, Good Freshwater Streams from the Andes, Flow Eastward over It. From the Andes to the Atlantic, Not Often all that Far Away, Down Here in this Tapering Cone. But it Does Provide Freshwater, Fish, and Irrigation!

Glaciers too!, Exist in the More Southern Reaches of the Chilean and Argentine Andes! Some Reaching the Sea, to Calve Off Icebergs! At Least one of these, is among the World's Few Presently *Advancing* Glaciers.

This is Bleak, Cool-Cold Ruff Land!, Down Here! This Isn't any sort of a French or Italian Riviera!

English and Other Non-Spanish Place Names become More Common, the Further South you go. After the Many Explorers and Others, who've Pioneered this Area so. But Don't Take that as an Excuse Not to Learn at least a Few Good Words of Spanish, if you're ever Down There!

I Like, Value, and Enjoy Patagonia and the Tierra So! Better Yet, I More Love It! It Holds it's Head and Shoulder's Well!, -Among the World's Great Wild Places!

But How's It for Making It!, and for Survival, Down There?! Whether One Likes It or No!, Whether There by Choice or Circumstance, -How's One to Best Tide Thru and Survive?! As Well as Best Make It Out?!

Well, for Starters, It Revolves Around Cold, Arid and Desert, and in some Areas, Mountain Survival. It also would Much Involve a type of Grasslands Survival. With Ocean and Beach / Shore / Island / or Coast significantly Thrown In as well. Some Others may Make their Contribution. But Forest and Jungle Survival would Not be among them. Except on the Atypical Chilean Southwest Coast, Patagonia Vastly and Virtually has No Trees! Forest and Woodland Survival is Not an Option here. Not thruout Most of the Patagonia-Tierra Area anyway!

So if you shud Find Yourself Down There, What would be your Best Options for Survival?

First Off, the Further South you are, the Less Distance you'd have to Travel to get to the Ocean. And that Ocean would Preferably be the Atlantic. So as Not to Have to Cross the Towering Andes.

Even in the Patagonian North, (and Thus it's Widest Part), you Don't have Terribly Far to Go. Distances are Not Continental Down here. Except for the North-South Patagonian Distance, which would be Semi-Continental. Which could be 1000 Plus Miles. East-West Distances in it's Widest Northern Part, are typically 500 Miles or so.( Now it's Very Widest Area in the North, a rather Thin upper Strip, may Go to 800 Miles or so.)

No Use Crossing the Andes to it's West!, Unless you're Already in the Andes, or over there on it's Western Side If Not Too Far to their East.

You might in some Circumstances Judge it Better to Strike Westward, to the Pacific Coast. But Even Here just East of the Andes, You'd Usually Want to Go East, to the Atlantic. That would be the Much Better, All Round Thing to Do! No Great Mountain Barrier! There are Plains and Plateau, Albeit a Desert Like one. Distances a Little Longer, but Still Not Continental.

And there are a Good Number of River Pathways, Giving you a Clear One Eastward! They Usually Go Pretty "Straight Shot East"!, Not Heavily Meandering to do so!, like you'd Find in Many Parts of the World. They're also a Great Direction Indicator. And They're a Rich Source of Fresh Water and Food! Rich for the Patagonia, and Rich for you.

Ideally, Raft, Boat, or Otherwise Float Down somehow. But Beware of Rocks, Shallows, or Rapids, though.

You can at least Follow them down from Ashore, in such areas, or even for their Total Distance. Even Doing that for the Total Distance, is Better than having No River Guiderail, or Food, Fish, and Water Source, at All!

Plus you're More Likely to Run Into an Isolated Outpost or Settlement, here in the Quite Empty Patagonia.

But "Go East!, Young Man!", to the Atlantic!

Even if Caught Well Between such Eastward Flowing River Areas, the Sun shud provide a Ready Eastward Beacon and Reference Point. Though Skies are Often Cloudy, even here in Rain Shadowed Patagonia. But one can often get a Perfectly Good Idea on where the Sun is, even on many a Cloudy Day!

Though Both Patagonian Coasts are Quite Isolated and Seldom Visited, you Stand a Better Chance of Hailing Passing Seacraft, or Aircraft, in the Atlantic East, over the Andean or Pacific West!

True, the East is Much Drier, and the West is Quite Wet! But Especially given Patagonia's many enuf Eastward Flowing Rivers, -This shud be No Insuperable Disadvantage or Problem.

Go East in this Survival Situation! It is the Far, Far, Better Thing to Do!

And once on Patagonia's Eastern Coast, then Start Following that Coast, Striking Northward. Towards the Argentine Pampas, if Need Be. The Pampas are a Great Pasture and Grain Area as well! This of course Bodes Well, for Survival Situations. When you Get There, You are in the Orbit of Big Buenos Aires! Which in this Situation Equals Extrication, Civilization, and Rescue!

On your Way, You Won't be Able to Avail yourself of Trees and Conventional Firewood, once again. Nor such Plant Shelter Materials. Unless you're in that Small, Cut Off Area of Patagonia, in the Chilean West.

You're gonna Have to do Grasslands / Desert type Survival, and Rock / Turf / and Earth type of Shelter Building. Grass and Grasslands types of Firebuilding too! Though along Riverbanks, you may well find a Good Supply of More Conventional Wood. Perhaps Some anyway!

There is some Patagonian Game, which you can Hunt and Trap. Bird's Eggs may be a Reasonably Available Good Find. This is the Land of the Rhea!, or South American Ostritch. Or Nandu ( N(y)andu ), as you may hear the Natives call it.

Once you Do Reach the Atlantic Shore, (or Pacific for that Matter.), -You're Within a Much Richer Food Source Area! As regards both Sea and Land! The Air too, as Far as Birds are concerned. Much of this will be Seabirds. Gulls, Skuas, Petrels, -You Name it! Seals, Fish, and Other Sea Life Abounds! Whales are Off the Coast. The Normal Inland Patagonian Wildlife would Abound here as well. Deer, Llamas and Llama Like Animals, Puma, Fox, Rodents, Chinchilla-Vizcacha, the Rhea-Nandu, even a Few Marsupials. Among Other Animal Life. Here along the Patagonian Coasts, -You can Tap Into this! East of the Andean Slopes, This is your Best Food Source. Followed by that on and along the Eastward Flowing Rivers. Followed by what you could Find on the Eastern Slopes of the Andes. Followed more Meagerly, -but Not Neccessarily Sparsely, by What you'd Find Amidst the Great Patagonian Dry Plains Itself.

There may be some Food Sources Differences in Tierra and Southwest Chile. But it Shud be Similarly Rich, perhaps even Richer!

There we Have it, for the Basic Patagonian Food, Fire-Warmth, Water, and Shelter considerations.

Navigation and Direction Finding, would be Very Important in this Very Flat, Open, Sprawling Area too! It's Expanses will often be Landmark Poor.

Now as to the Patagonian Andes Themself, -Another comparatively Small Area within, This would entail All within the World of Mountaineering and Mountain Survival. See the Earth's Wildest Places Post on the Andes, to Come, for that.

This is South America's Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego! This is Survival in, and Extrication From, Patagonia and the Tierra Del Fuego! A Fine Outdoors Place to be!, but it's Leaner on Survival Provisions than Many! Still it is Far from the Worst! If ever Caught, or Otherwise Finding yourself in Pat or the Tierra, -This is What you'd be Faceing! These are the Things you Must Do!

I went Further on the Length than I'd like to. I'll Continue to Try to Keep it Down. I Have been sometimes Able to Do that, within this Thread, which gives me Cause for Hope there. Regrets and All Due Apologies once again. [color:"black"] [/color] [email]ScottRezaLogan[/email]

Edited by ScottRezaLogan (02/28/04 06:32 PM)
"No Substitute for Victory!"and"You Can't be a Beacon if your Light Don't Shine!"-Gen. Douglass MacArthur and Donna Fargo.