Dont depend upon gps as your only tool.

January 11, 2017

Benjamin Spillman | Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal
Updated 5 hours ago
VERDI, Nev. — While a couple of landslides that popped up on Interstate 80 over the Sierra Nevada have been cleared away, the most plowed route over the mountains was still closed Wednesday at the California-Nevada border, shutting northern Nevadans off from the coast — and most Californians from traveling east.

But some intrepid travelers always think they can get there from here and head west up a remote and rugged dirt stretch named Henness Pass Road. They are wrong, especially in this Pineapple Express mess — relatively warm, moist air coming from Hawaii — that has brought periods of both snow and rain to some elevations, blizzard conditions higher up and is forecast to continue through Wednesday night.

On Jan. 9, 2017 Washoe County Search and Rescue in Nevada shared this photo of vehicles stuck on …more
Washoe County (Nev.) Search and Rescue
Another storm with more of the same is supposed to arrive Thursday morning.
No relief: Storms continue to slam West with snow, rain, wind

Search and rescue volunteers Sunday and Monday found themselves heading into the mountains again to help people who thought they could bypass the I-80 closure via the dirt road north of the highway between Reno and Truckee. Rescuers estimated at least six cars and SUVs were stuck on the road after driving through warning signs stating the route was impassable for most vehicles, said Bob Harmon, spokesman for the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department.
It was the second time in about a week that the sheriff’s department sought to warn people to think twice about driving up isolated, unpaved roads in winter storm conditions.

“I’m kind of at a loss as to why people would drive around a sign that says unsafe road conditions.”
– Bob Harmon, Washoe County (Nev.) Sheriff’s Department
Although Henness Pass Road will show up on most GPS systems, the road is not maintained, lacks shoulders and is steep. In winter, it often buried in snow, covered in ice or is a muddy mess — sometimes a combination of those conditions.
“To go up there in a regular passenger vehicle or even an SUV, that is not a good idea,” Harmon said.
Stranded vehicles seem to be a problem along the route more frequently when I-80 is closed because of bad weather, he said. The only way to really avoid an I-80 closure and the blizzard conditions that created the problem is to take a detour south through Death Valley and Bakersfield via U.S. 95, which adds about 500 miles to a trip to San Francisco.
He suspects some drivers are putting unwarranted faith in the ability of their GPS to guide them and their vehicles despite clear signs warning them to turn back.

“I’m kind of at a loss as to why people would drive around a sign that says unsafe road conditions,” Harmon said. When the interstate is closed, the best thing for drivers to do is get a room or stay home until the road reopens, then stick to I-80.
This isn’t a new phenomenon. In the days before good cellphone service and Google maps, young couple James and Jennifer Stolpa and their 5-month-old son, Clayton, got stuck in January 1993 in the Sierra as they tried to find an alternative route over the Sierra from near Pasa Robles, Calif., to Pocatello, Idaho.
Sheriff’s official: Family’s rescue near Grand Canyon’s North Rim ‘a Christmas miracle’

They were using paper maps and got lost in the snow in a remote area of Washoe County for a week, surviving only after James Stolpa put his wife and child in a cave and hiked more than 40 miles into the small community of Vya, about 150 miles north of Reno as the crow flies. Their story became a 1994 CBS-TV movie titled Snowbound.
These days, drivers often call when they get stuck. And rescuers will extract them from the forest, but they won’t rescue vehicles, which means owners must arrange to get their vehicles removed.

Les stroud survival tactics

December 6, 2016

01* In cold or freezing conditions, the worst thing you can do is let yourself get sweaty. He constantly mentions that if you get sweaty, you should let the sweat dry (he mentions this tip in almost every episode).

02* Use a lens from a camcorder to start a fire (as if it is a Magnifying Glass)
03* Always carry a good multitool (eg. Leatherman Wave or Swiss Army Explorer Plus).
04* Break wood between two trees to keep from hurting yourself.
05* Cut water-vine in swamps and jungles and place a cup at the opening to collect water.
06* Wipe mud over your skin to protect against mosquitoes.
07* If you catch lean food eat as much of the animal as possible, except the entrails. Certain wild animals have extremely low levels of body fat, which may lead to death by rabbit starvation.
08* To start a fire with a lighter that has no fluid, use a piece of tissue formed into a cone at one end with a ball of sock lint stuffed into the cone to catch the spark that comes off the lighter. This only works if the socks are manufactured from 100% cotton. He refers to this as a prison match (and tells viewers not to ask him why he knows how to make it).
09* Use a snowmobile seat cover to melt snow in the sunlight.
10* Don’t play the harmonica when polar bears are possibly around because they are attracted to strange noises.
11* Use corn chips to hold a flame in a manner similar to a candle wick.
12* Boil water by placing heated rocks in it. This is done when a water container cannot be held directly over a fire.
13* Heat rocks over fire and place them around the body as heating packs while sleeping or resting.
14* Use an emptied coconut shell filled with coconut fibers to carry a smoldering coal. This prevents the need to light another fire from scratch.
15* Use cow dung to keep a fire smoldering while away. This prevents the need to light another fire from scratch.
16* Use the elastic strap from a pair of boxers as a slingshot to fire a fishing spear.
17* Soak the foam cushion of a broken snowmobile in gasoline to use as fire fuel in the Canadian Arctic.
18* Determine the time until sunset by measuring the distance between the sun and horizon, wherein each width of your hand equals one hour.
19* Use moss from the north side of a tree to gain bearings without a compass (though he added that this method, though accurate in his case, is often unreliable).
20* When opening a conch shell, crack the point on the back and scrape out the meat inside.
21* To get fresh water on an island build a solar still by finding a box (or something similar) and put seawater and plants inside, along with a smaller container in the direct center, and cover it tightly with a plastic sheet. Then put a rock in the center of the plastic. The plants will sweat fresh water which will evaporate, condense onto the plastic and drip into the container.
22* Too much coconut milk causes diarrhea.
23* The Five “W’s” of Survival: o Weather: Temperature of the area, know what kind of shelter you need. o Wood: How much wood is around for both fire and shelter. o Wigglies: spiders, scorpions, snakes, anything that can bite you or poison you. o Widowmakers: rocks, trees, large animals, anything that can fall on you or attack you. o Water: Where will you get water, how will you obtain it.
24* Use a potato peeler on thin branches to create very curly wood shavings. These are great for getting very small flames turned into big ones.
25* Always check your boots for “Wigglies.”
26* Use large rock pieces and twigs to setup trap for small animals by placing an edible bait to the supporting twig (Les caught a squirrel in the Utah canyonlands once, he cooked it over fire for a long time to burn off parasites before eating)
27* Set up a trap in the swamp or river bank by sticking wood sticks in a pattern that looks like a square with the top side slightly open in a v-shape , place a bait inside to wait for a turtle or other animals.
28* To create smoke signal, burn damp wood chips over fire.                                                                                               29* Before sleep pee so your body isn’t trying to keep the water inside you warm.
30* Eat Something before you sleep helps insides get warmer.

Keep your feet from freezing

December 6, 2016

A close call

December 6, 2016

Last week I was part of a team with Washoe County search and rescue that went looking for a 70 year old lady that went snowshoeing in the afternoon. She was in great shape. She took two dogs with her and expected to be out for 45 minutes. But things happen.
When she had returned to the Rendezvous point with her husband waiting, he called 911 and ask for such assistance in locating his wife.

It was a wonderful day when she went out at 2 o’clock but by 5 o’clock it had got dark and she had called on her cell phone stating that she was in a pickle.  she wasn’t very far from the road but with it being pitch black with no moon she lost her Direction and wandered off Trail.
Several search and rescue teams from Washoe County search and rescue were deployed at the trail start and the trail end.

 she was located around 10 p.m. that night but was tired and cold. She hadn’t taken normal back with winter supplies and it said she was only going to be out for 45 minutes.

 Over the past 15 years several people had perished in the same area she was found. When the teams found her, she was cold, tired and laying down directly on the snow. A fire was built in order to warm her up for her track out with the teams to our staging location.

Disaster  was averted and she was united with her husband. Again let me point out she was in very very good condition for 70 year old lady out on a snowshoe trip. But it could have turned out horribly wrong if we hadn’t been notified in time to go look for her.

 The lesson to be learned is always take  Backcountry items with you no  matter how long you’re going to be out because things happen.   always tell someone where you’re going and when you’re going to be back and if you are not back at the appointed time quickly call nine-one-one and get search and rescue out there looking for you. Time is not your friend neither is the cold weather.

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.

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