Archive for November, 2016

Wet wood lighting

November 25, 2016

How do you light wet wood?

Use a sharp knife/hatchet to strip away as much bark and wet wood as possible. If you can use a hatchet to split larger pieces of wood into kindling, this will expose the drier inner layers. Start a small fire using the stripped kindling. Use the small fire to heat and dry the larger pieces.

Advertisements

Flint identification in the outdoors.

November 25, 2016

How to Identify Flint
Flint, also known as chert, is a type of sedimentary rock that has many uses. It was once commonly used to form rudimentary tools like knives and spear tips. Flint is often used by outdoorsmen to create sparks for a fire when it is struck against hardened steel. Knowing how to find a piece of flint can come in handy when you’re in the wild. Whether you’re looking for artifacts or a way to start a fire, identifying flint isn’t as hard as you think. But it only occurs where there was an ocean at one time. Chalk deposits are a dead giveaway to the existence of flint. You won’t find flint in the North East U.S. But it is very common in the South East and Mid West. Quartz is a metamorphic rock and can be used like flint to start fires. Agate in the Mid West can also be used like flint.

Choose an area nearby to search. It might seem like flint is difficult to find, but you generally just need to know where to look. In some areas, like the Ozarks of Missouri, you can find chert lying all over the ground. That is because flint and chert are hard, durable rocks that are so resistant to weathering they remain intact long after the surrounding rocks have weathered away into the soil.[1]

You can search along the freshwater shores or riverbeds.[2] Flint is very durable and resistant to chemicals, so it often collects in the remaining soils as surrounding carbonate rocks erode.[3] While rocks like limestone erode and fine soil is carried downstream, small pebble deposits of flint and chert collect along the shores.

Try other locations where there is a large variety of rocks present, such as a construction site or along a gravel road. Many times rocks are harvested from riverbeds for construction from all over so you might be surprised to find chert or flint pebbles just down the block.[4]

Image titled Identify Flint Step 2
2

Learn the history of your area. If you live near an area that was once populated by tribes of Native Americans, you might have a good chance of locating flint fragments around that area.

Flint was an ideal choice for creating tools and weapons. Flint can be made to form a blade that is actually sharper than steel, with a tip that is just the width of a few molecules.[5] If you find an arrowhead or sharp rock near a old tribal ground, you found some flint.
3

Look for flint nodules in larger rocks. Flint often forms as nodules inside pieces of chalk or limestone.[6] So in addition to looking for pieces of flint, look for larger rocks that may contain several pieces of flint. Bust them open and see what you find.

Look for discolorations on a piece of limestone. Usually flint or chert nodules will be a slightly darker shade than the surrounding limestone.[7] You can break these pieces out with the use of some tools and collect the flint.

Grab an iron hammer and bust open some smaller rocks. If you notice some sparks when the hammer contacts the rock, there is likely some flint or quartz inside.
Method 2
1

Notice the color of the rock. Flint will likely appear black or dark gray. This is the only physical difference between flint and chert.[8] Chert doesn’t have a particular identifying color, but it usually appears in a combination of a few different shades depending on the other minerals that are present. Shades of maroon, tan, yellow, white or occasionally a deep blue are all common among types of chert. Sometimes these colors may form bands along the surface.

Other types of quartz to learn to identify that can also be used in place of flint could be carnelian, agate, bloodstone, jade and chalcedony.[9]

Surrounding rocks can impact the appearance of flints. When flints are buried in chalk, a white patina or film can form over the flint.[10

2

Look for flint in various shapes. Flint can be found in natural occurring nodules or as a fragment that has been worked into a shape.

Flint nodules can appear in various smooth, rounded shapes embedded in chalk or limestone. When you find flint that has been embedded in a chalk bed, it is common to find an imprint of shells cast into the surface.[11]

Look for rocks that have been split like broken glass. Flint fractures differently from many crystals. When the pieces come apart the tend to look like glass shards, with curves and sharper edges.[12]

In addition to looking for natural nodules of flint, be sure to look for flint that has been worked into a shape. You can control the way flint splits easier than other rocks, which is another reason why people used to used flint to shape tools and weapons. Sometimes flint may have edges that seem to have been chipped away or have a point, indicating they have been used as a tool.
3

Look for a glossy surface on the rock. Flint often displays a natural, glassy luster. If it was just broken, the luster may seem dull and somewhat waxy to the touch. You can usually rub away or sand this cortex to reveal more of the surface luster.
4

Test the hardness of the stone. If you have a glass bottle, try to scratch it with the sharp edge of the flint. If the rock is strong enough to scratch glass, it is as hard as flint.

Be careful when striking glass with a rock. Using gloves to protect your hands is a good idea.

Image titled Identify Flint Step 8

5

Take out a striker made of carbon steel and strike it against the stone. If sparks fly after several attempts, then you might have a piece of flint.

The “sparks” produced are actually just the tiny fragments of iron breaking off the iron surface. The sudden exposure to air generates a rapid oxidization where the fragment can not dissipate the heat as fast as it generates it. The spark is only a glowing piece of freshly exposed iron.[13]

If the rock doesn’t have a very sharp edge, you will want to create one to test for sparks. To check the inside of a rock use a larger rock as a hammer to flake of pieces from the thinnest end of the rock.

When striking your flint of metal, make sure the stone is dry, as a damp stone may not produce sparks.

Other rocks, such as quartz, that have a hardness of seven on the Mohs Scale of Hardness will create sparks when struck against a carbon metal. If you are only looking for a rock which you can use to create sparks and start a fire, try learning what other rock types will also do the job.

Identify flint

November 25, 2016

How to Identify Flint
Flint, also known as chert, is a type of sedimentary rock that has many uses. It was once commonly used to form rudimentary tools like knives and spear tips. Flint is often used by outdoorsmen to create sparks for a fire when it is struck against hardened steel. Knowing how to find a piece of flint can come in handy when you’re in the wild. Whether you’re looking for artifacts or a way to start a fire, identifying flint isn’t as hard as you think. But it only occurs where there was an ocean at one time. Chalk deposits are a dead giveaway to the existence of flint. You won’t find flint in the North East U.S. But it is very common in the South East and Mid West. Quartz is a metamorphic rock and can be used like flint to start fires. Agate in the Mid West can also be used like flint.

Small house or cabin

November 25, 2016

How to Build a 'Temporary' Microhouse – DIY – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/microhouse-zmaz98jjzhow

Clean water

November 24, 2016

Clean water

November 24, 2016

Alaphabet

November 24, 2016

Survival Pinterest!

November 24, 2016

I thought you’d like this Pin on Pinterest… http://pin.it/AsaP94-

Help in the back country

November 18, 2016
  

After running from law enforcement, the SAR team rescued two suspects.Running from law esubjects who suffered hypothermia and other cold related illnesses. Photo/Provided

After running from law enforcement, the SAR team rescued two suspects who suffered from hypothermia. Photo/Provided

By Kathryn Reed

Inappropriate clothing and shoes, no plan for if things go wrong, and unrealistic expectations that a cell phone will reach help that is nearby.

This is increasingly what search and rescue teams with El Dorado County are finding. It’s the result of more people in the woods and so many of them being unprepared. The movie “Wild” has helped perpetuate the idea that inexperienced hikers will survive.

This fall two women had to be rescued near Cascade Falls because they weren’t prepared for the storm that came in even though forecasters had been talking about it for days. They said they didn’t know about the pending storm and thought spandex leggings would be sufficient. They got disoriented and told rescuers they were going to die. They didn’t – thanks to volunteers who brought them back to safety.

That’s a routine call.

The number of calls El Dorado County search and rescue crews go on has doubled since 2010. In 2015, EDSO SAR was called 89 times. (That doesn’t mean they went out each time.) In the first 10 months of 2016, SAR has been called 130 times. Most of those people don’t live in the area.

Training is necessary to keep the team sharp. Photo/Provided

Training is necessary to keep the team sharp. Photo/Provided

“People are coming to the area without physical fitness or the experience to recreate safely,” sheriff’s Deputy Greg Almos told Lake Tahoe News.

Almos runs the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department SAR program. It’s made up about 30 volunteers in Tahoe; of those about a dozen are active on a regular basis.

Eagle Falls is where they go to the most; with twisted ankles a routine issue. Many people are less than a mile from the trailhead. Their lack of fitness contributes to the initial injury and then not being able to make it out, Almos said. The altitude and weather are other contributing factors.

The veteran SAR leader is an advocate for getting people outdoors, but he also believes there needs to be responsibility and common sense. This means education before getting on the trail.

A hiker who suffered a foot injury this summer at Eagle Falls is carried to the trailhead. Photo/Provided

A hiker who suffered a foot injury this summer at Eagle Falls is carried to the trailhead. Photo/Provided

People go for day hikes without bringing another layer for when the temperatures in the mountains drop. They don’t have packs with the essentials – like enough water, food, a flashlight, even a map. Nor do they have a plan in case they don’t make it out.

“It’s amazing how many people I talk to when I discuss a save your life plan over the phone and they cannot fathom why we are not there. When I say it will take several hours to get there and that they need to make preparations to survive, and I tell them what to expect and say it could be four hours, I get arguments,” Almos said. “After 20 minutes they call to say ‘where are you?’ I ask them how long it took to get to the top of Tallac. They say six hours. I’ve had people straight up say where is the helicopter. This isn’t Uber. People have a hard time understanding that.”

Then there are the times when people don’t know where they are. It’s getting harder to trace cell phone numbers because of privacy laws. Search warrants can sometimes be obtained after the fact. That is why dispatchers ask for consent to track people’s phones.

The helicopter arrives to transport a lost person from Maggies Peak in February. Photo/Provided

The helicopter arrives to transport a lost person from Maggies Peak in February. Photo/Provided

A relatively new phenomenon searchers have been dealing with is “meet-up groups.” These are Internet-based groups where random people meet for a certain activity. They aren’t abiding by the basic protocols of hiking at the speed of the slowest person and making sure everyone returns to the trailhead.

“We are getting people who are leaving people out there. This is an epidemic I think we are going to see an awful lot more of,” Almos said.

Descriptions of what they were wearing or looked like are often vague.

Compounding the problem is friends and relatives back home who might call to report the person overdue often don’t know where the person was exactly going or with whom.

About a dozen of these calls are now happening annually.

Nothing is routine, and it’s not unusual for rescues to require technical skills – especially at Lover’s Leap and the cliff area at Vikingsholm. Climbers get stuck.

Their rescuers aren’t getting paid. Search team members provide their own gear.

It’s not unusual in the busy summer season to get back-to-back calls. Sometimes they are on a call for consecutive days. They receive training, but they all come to the “job” with a love for the outdoors and a desire to help others.

All of the volunteer search and rescue members are on-the-ground team. There is the management team that runs the command post and sets up the coordination, a Nordic team, snowmobile group, mountain rescue unit that handles extreme weather backcountry cases, and K-9 teams. The West Slope has an equestrian group and OHV.

And the people they rescue are not charged a dime.

November 18, 2016