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idiotic "expert" advice

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idiotic "expert" advice

Postby balzaccom » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:53 am

This video pretty much violates every principle of LNT, as well as suggesting that you break the law in most national forests and national parks in the West. Gotta wonder who edits these things. And who the "experts" are who suggest creating a new fire ring where none already exists. All this in the middle of one of the worst fire seasons in history.

Completely clueless!!!

http://www.backpacker.com/view/videos/s ... wsletter01
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Re: idiotic "expert" advice

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:17 am

I wonder how they would suggest you find "really dry" tinder when it's raining?

Of course, no one goes hypothermic and needs a fire when it rains, right?

#-o
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Re: idiotic "expert" advice

Postby markskor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:26 am

Disagree (a little...)
Presented under the guise of "Survival" - if life or death, when a fire is actually needed and not just for ambiance...injured?
Sort of a half-bass presentation of "how to".
Does seem to encourage the building of a new ring though...
No mention of any current fire conditions too but does stress safety.
How would you have presented this topic better?

...Maybe just bad timing considering current fires Sierra?
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Re: idiotic "expert" advice

Postby WarrenFork » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:51 am

God forbid that anyone would choose to break the law rather than succumb to hypothermia.

And talking of fires, when will all these agencies and their crews be brought to book for their wholesale violations of NEPA and countless other laws?

It's a scandal, I tell you...
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Re: idiotic "expert" advice

Postby balzaccom » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:23 am

Yeah--but if this is truly survival fire building, don't you think they ought to say something about where to find dry tinder and firewood in a survival situation? That's the single most important part of survival fire building.

Instead, they go out under perfect conditions, find fistfuls of dry tinder just lying on the ground (no rain, snow or sleet here!) and then suggest that making a fire is really that simple?

if it's a survival situation, then they need to address that.

if it NOT a survival situation, then what they are suggesting is illegal, badly timed, and clueless.

Either way they missed the boat completely.
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Re: idiotic "expert" advice

Postby rlown » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:44 am

I kind of agree with Markskor here. Maybe just bad timing. The basic skills were there. Heck, you don't even need the ring in an emergency situation. Probably can't get to the tree easily if you broke a leg.

Even in the rain or snow (in a survival situation), you can find dry tinder on the trees, or add white gas or even your favorite can stove to get it going. Even 151, god forbid. :)

Pure granite, get in your bag, under a rock, that you deem safe, maybe?
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Re: idiotic "expert" advice

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:31 pm

I could not get the video to play: something in my computer is not up-to-date. So the comments below are based on only what has been said here.

Fires are very useful in continual wet conditions. You find tinder on the dead under-branches of thickets of trees. Week long periods with cold temperatures, no sun to dry things and continual rain, even if light rain, are much more tolerable with a fire. Using fires is most effective with a group of people; not so effective if you are solo and have to do all the work yourself. On my first NOLS course we had 28 straight days of snow and were walking in snow every day. No apologies! We used fires, had group fires and even transported hot coals from one campsite to the next. We gathered dry "twiggies" where ever we could find them and even put them in a stuff sack and slept with them in our sleeping bags. One can never say what happens if you "take the other road" but I can say that I probably avoided hypothermia several times with a fire. Obviously, building a fire is not very appropriate if you are seriously injured. You have to be mobile to gather wood.

Fire rings are more than useless; they actually hinder good air flow in a fire. The only reason for a fire ring is to mark a permanent campsite, which has its advantages over everyone building a fire in a new place. Great if you find yourself at an established campsite when you get into your survival situation; more likely you will not find one. If I build a fire in an established fire ring often break down the ring to get more air flow.

I think many would have a different opinion of fires if you backpacked in other mountain ranges that are not as weather-friendly as the Sierra. I may be "old-school" but I think the skill of building a fire in wet conditions is essential. And to do this, you need to always carry good fire-starting tools- waterproof matches, a small butane lighter or any of a number of items that are used as starters. And you will not learn this skill by watching a video promoted by a magazine! It takes a lot of practice. Probably 95% of backpackers will never need it for survival purposes, but if you do, it could save your life. I guess nowadays pushing the help button on SPOT is considered an equivalent survival skill. Certainly does not take as much skill.

To say you do not need a fire in dry conditions is not entirely true. You can also build a safe fire in very dry conditions, as long as you have a good water source nearby and know how to keep the fire under control and put it completely out. This also takes a lot of work- all that work keeps you moving which also keeps you warm. But if caught out on a day hike and temperatures drop to well below freezing at night, even if skies are clear (actually colder nights happen under clear skies), then building a warming fire helps. I did this when benighted in the Enchanted Gorge. I built a small fire and slept by it and warmed water to drink to keep warm (I am in the habit of carrying my cook pot when I do a long day-hike). I put the fire completely out in the morning, buried remaining coals and ash, and nobody would have known that a fire was build there.

A "survival fire" is something you would only do infrequently therefore environmental damage is very limited.
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Re: idiotic "expert" advice

Postby Tom_H » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:13 am

We need "LIKE" and "AGREE" buttons. My training was the same as WD's and I fully concur.
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Re: idiotic "expert" advice

Postby ERIC » Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:41 pm

Tom_H wrote:We need "LIKE" and "AGREE" buttons. My training was the same as WD's and I fully concur.


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