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perdurabo
05-03-2009, 18:06
I spend a lot of time hiking and camping in the woods here in the Northwest. And of course, I encounter a lot of odd folks in these woods. I can count a dozen encounters off the top of my head that range from weird hermits to SHTF.

Aside from taking advantage of terrain, topography, and building bark/rock heat (and light) shields, are there any other techniques for reducing camp fire visual signatures, especially at night, both nearby and from afar?

Fires are nice, but they tend to attract attention, and you're usually close enough that it destroys your night vision and you can't see folks coming til they're practically on-site.

Ideas, thought, suggestions, corrective actions? :D

SF_BHT
05-03-2009, 18:17
Claymores with tripwires.... Keeps out the unwanted visitor either human or Bear...:eek:

perdurabo
05-03-2009, 18:23
Claymores with tripwires.... Keeps out the unwanted visitor either human or Bear...:eek:

I dunno, they didn't stop Jesse Ventura in Predator :lifter

Pete
05-03-2009, 18:29
If you don't want to be found by the casual person, build a small fire with very dry wood before sundown. Eat, put it out and move a short distance just before last light. Then run a dry, dark camp.

Chances are somebody walking along in the late afternoon would smell your fire or hear you breaking wood way before you noticed them.

Again, after dark the smoke could drift a great distance based on weather conditions and wind. You make more noise at night with the wood also.

In average weather fire is a comfort item - not really needed.

Peregrino
05-03-2009, 23:21
If you don't want to be found by the casual person, build a small fire with very dry wood before sundown. Eat, put it out and move a short distance just before last light. Then run a dry, dark camp.

Chances are somebody walking along in the late afternoon would smell your fire or hear you breaking wood way before you noticed them.

Again, after dark the smoke could drift a great distance based on weather conditions and wind. You make more noise at night with the wood also.

In average weather fire is a comfort item - not really needed.


What Pete said. This is elementary stuff that can be found in any literature from the westward expansion period. (Surviving in "Indian Country".)

Diablo Blanco
09-29-2009, 16:59
"white man build big fire, sleep far away, cold all night. Indian make small fire, sleep close, stay warm all night"

Fire keeps many animals away but attracts humans.

Several options here. You could build a dakota fire hole to reduce visible light horizontally. With the right application of a heat reflector you can stay warm all night.

If you want to stay warm and don't have a bunch of rocks to heat up try this. Dig a shallow trench the length of your body and build your fire at one end of it. Start your fire earlier in the day and burn enough wood to cover the bottom of your trench with coals. When it's time for bed, spread the coals out and cover with the dirt you excavated. It'll keep you warm all night. Be careful to use DIRT not rotted leaves and topsoil.

You can also dig a small hole about a foot or so deep next to a tree with a ventilation trough. Build a small fire in there until you get some good coals going. Let the fire burn out. Sleep leaning against the tree with your legs on either side of the trough. If you don't have a tree to lean against just use your ruck.

Be careful with the subterranean fires as you could get a root burning as an ember which can ignite into a full fire days later.

Sten
09-29-2009, 17:17
Get something from here and join the 21st century of outdoor living.:D

http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/stoves/expedition-stoves/category

PRB
09-29-2009, 19:12
For the reasons you state and for some of my own I cannot 'enjoy' a fire at night if I'm camping by myself or with the little woman.
Cook early, daylight and eat before last light, have ready made food/snacks for later.
Use the coals, if it's very cold, for warmth by burying them where you are going to sleep...deep enough tho, easy to get 'too warm'.
Clean your site for brush tobe quiet etc if that's needed.
Always fishhook in too Lol

wet dog
09-29-2009, 19:30
Me keep fire small, (i.e., whisper-lite, for cooking and security).

Big white man fire for when I want to get ripped on fire-water and dance around naked.

BoyScout
09-29-2009, 22:33
If you sleep next to or against a large boulder that's been out in the sun all day, it'll collect that day's heat and radiate it at night. Not as warm as a fire but it beats nothing.

albeham
09-30-2009, 15:11
Being a LNT trainer, its good to see you all are thinking the right way of a camp fire.

Did I say Leave No Trace..

Fire good only when you need it..But do you need it ? You must ask ..


AL

:munchin

Brush Okie
09-30-2009, 15:23
Use the coals, if it's very cold, for warmth by burying them where you are going to sleep...deep enough tho, easy to get 'too warm'.
Clean your site for brush tobe quiet etc if that's needed.
Always fishhook in too Lol

LOL reminds me of the scene in Jerimah Johnson when he wakes up in the middle of the night with his blankets on fire.

If you insist on old school get some charcoal and use it to cook with.

Team Sergeant
09-30-2009, 16:39
For the reasons you state and for some of my own I cannot 'enjoy' a fire at night if I'm camping by myself or with the little woman.
Cook early, daylight and eat before last light, have ready made food/snacks for later.
Use the coals, if it's very cold, for warmth by burying them where you are going to sleep...deep enough tho, easy to get 'too warm'.
Clean your site for brush tobe quiet etc if that's needed.
Always fishhook in too Lol

What the SGM said but save the claymores, try a Bangalore Torpedo. Stand it upright and add a few branches from the indigenous vegetation. Always ensure there's a "dense" tree between you and the Bangalore.

Always fishook and place the Bangalore in the begining of the arch of the fishook.

Save the claymore for breaking contact and use the Australian peel when doing so.

Remember to clean weapons before dark as the noise of such action will carry much farther at night.

Only one boot off at a time when changing socks.

Cap off your canteen before dark.

Let us know if you need anything else....

Team Sergeant

SF-TX
09-30-2009, 20:48
Me keep fire small, (i.e., whisper-lite, for cooking and security).

Big white man fire for when I want to get ripped on fire-water and dance around naked.

LOL. :D

adal
09-30-2009, 21:54
I want to see the Australian peel with one person.

The Reaper
10-01-2009, 09:52
I want to see a guy patrolling with a Bangalore.:D

TR

Team Sergeant
10-01-2009, 10:00
I want to see the Australian peel with one person.

I want to see a guy patrolling with a Bangalore.:D

TR

Chuck Norris can do both.

PRB
10-01-2009, 13:06
How about the flying 'W' for breaking out of encirclement...like to see Chuck do that alone ;)

Brush Okie
10-01-2009, 16:52
How about the flying 'W' for breaking out of encirclement...like to see Chuck do that alone ;)

He can do it, after all he is Chuck Norris.

Sten
10-01-2009, 19:06
How about the flying 'W' for breaking out of encirclement...like to see Chuck do that alone ;)

If they even could encircle Chuck Norris he would have them right where he wanted them, and they would have to try an Australian in a vain effort to break contact with him.

Blitzzz (RIP)
10-01-2009, 20:15
I spend a lot of time hiking and camping in the woods here in the Northwest. And of course, I encounter a lot of odd folks in these woods. I can count a dozen encounters off the top of my head that range from weird hermits to SHTF.

Aside from taking advantage of terrain, topography, and building bark/rock heat (and light) shields, are there any other techniques for reducing camp fire visual signatures, especially at night, both nearby and from afar?

Fires are nice, but they tend to attract attention, and you're usually close enough that it destroys your night vision and you can't see folks coming til they're practically on-site.

Ideas, thought, suggestions, corrective actions? :D

I like the Swedish survival fire.
three poles about 4 foot long,laced together with what ever wire you can get like barbed or other
Have the insides of each "shaved ' bury them standing about 1 foot in the ground ( leaves abut 3 feet above the ground.
Start the fire at the inside base of the poles
the fire burns up the middle with minimal flame showing and good intense heat at the top to cook on.
the raising flames reburn the smoke and this fire is nearly smokeless. And difficult to see from the sides.
asthe fire burns you will have to tighten the wires to keep the fire inclosed and burning the best heat. Practice this one in a back yard to get an idea of pole sizes about 3 or 4 inch dia.

Team Sergeant
10-01-2009, 21:15
I spend a lot of time hiking and camping in the woods here in the Northwest. And of course, I encounter a lot of odd folks in these woods. I can count a dozen encounters off the top of my head that range from weird hermits to SHTF.

Aside from taking advantage of terrain, topography, and building bark/rock heat (and light) shields, are there any other techniques for reducing camp fire visual signatures, especially at night, both nearby and from afar?

Fires are nice, but they tend to attract attention, and you're usually close enough that it destroys your night vision and you can't see folks coming til they're practically on-site.

Ideas, thought, suggestions, corrective actions? :D

You live in the Pacific Northwest, I lived and hiked there also. Anything you build will leave a lingering smoke scent in that temperate forest. You're lucky to find dry wood in the first place.

My attempt at humor failed, bottom line if you don't want company don't build a wood fire, period. That's what combat arms folks do, we don't build fires.Fortunately most of the individuals we're looking for do.

Expect the unexpected and learn to deal with it when it comes. Otherwise stay out of the forest at night.

Monsoon65
10-03-2009, 17:09
I want to see a guy patrolling with a Bangalore.:D

TR


I just sprayed soda out of my nose reading that!

Uglyduck
10-03-2009, 21:08
I want to see the Australian peel with one person.

Couldn't resist could you. i thought for sure you'd be the naked drunk guy dancing around fire...:p

mountainman
10-04-2009, 22:00
This isn't a way to reduce your visual signature at night but this is a way to reduce your impact and any trace that you had been camping in a particular spot. Of course, fires are almost entirely unnecessary with all the fancy gear available today and should only be used when absolutely necessary but that doesn't change that genetic fascination and obsession with fire that we all have inside us.

I teach LNT (Leave No Trace) to the guides for a college outdoor program and we teach what we call an "LNT Fire".

Start with a plastic trash bag, lay it down flat on the ground. Then collect mineral soil or creek/river bed rocky soil. Mineral soil is the lower layer of soil below the leafy organic decomposition. When digging, you will find that the soil will change consistency and sometimes color when you hit the mineral level. Watch out for river rocks getting directly in your fire, trapped moisture can cause them to explode on you(unless you like that sort of thing). Spread the mineral soil around the plastic and form it into a kind of volcano shape with a base thickness of about 2" or more and raised edges. If it is too thin, the fire will melt through the plastic. I try to cover all plastic even on the edges outside of the main bowl simply to avoid getting melted plastic gook all over the rocks and soil (Not very LNT).

With this base, build your fire within the bowl of this structure. When you are finished (let all sticks burn to coals and ash), you can broadcast the ashes out over a large enough area as to be unnoticeable. The ashes will be washed away in the next rain and will actually contribute to the soil quality in the area. Put the mineral soil back where you found it. Pack up the trash bag and take it out with you.

You will be amazed to find that any vegetation underneath will still be green and alive!


Enjoy :cool:

Diablo Blanco
10-04-2009, 22:21
Start with a plastic trash bag, lay it down flat on the ground.

I suppose you could do the same with some heavy aluminum foil (or even standard weight) and not have to worry about the plastic melting. Of course standard sized foil at the grocery store won't work but industrial size sheet could. PLUS you would have something you could use for other purposes as well.

I like that idea mountainman, thanks.

DemoMan
11-16-2009, 12:05
I want to see the Australian peel with one person.

I snorted coffee out my nose trying to picture that....whats worse is that I began brainstorming how to do it in my head once the thought sunk in....

perdurabo
11-21-2009, 19:20
You live in the Pacific Northwest, I lived and hiked there also. Anything you build will leave a lingering smoke scent in that temperate forest. You're lucky to find dry wood in the first place.

My attempt at humor failed, bottom line if you don't want company don't build a wood fire, period. That's what combat arms folks do, we don't build fires.Fortunately most of the individuals we're looking for do.

Expect the unexpected and learn to deal with it when it comes. Otherwise stay out of the forest at night.

I read you.

The forests are full of meth heads, crack zombies, and other assorted oddities in these parts.

Blitzzz (RIP)
12-02-2009, 13:15
Damn adal one could get pretty dizzy trying that one...

Blitzzz (RIP)
12-07-2009, 10:25
This may be the wrong thread,but I was helping my son move some of his stuff (Don't Ask).inito my shed and one piece i saw made me think it should be a no brainer for survival carry. It's the wielders flint fire starter.(I don't know it's name). Spring handle attached to a metal cup with a flint holder and striker . always makes a good spark, and the cup will hold tinder. Just a thought.

bubba
12-07-2009, 10:57
For the weight and bulk of one of those flint strikers, carry a Bic lighter. Works almost every time and will start way more fires than you should need in any given survival situation.

Blitzzz (RIP)
12-07-2009, 20:54
The BIC will run out of fuel. The Flint striker just needs a few flints. It is easier to make fire with a BIC but on a pure survival situation I like to create a spark... and hope every thing is dry. LOL.

The Reaper
12-07-2009, 21:13
The BIC will run out of fuel. The Flint striker just needs a few flints. It is easier to make fire with a BIC but on a pure survival situation I like to create a spark... and hope every thing is dry. LOL.

But the BIC will still spark, even after the fuel is exhausted, and for the same weight and bulk as a torch striker, you could carry a half dozen or more BICs.

Except for when lighting a torch, I always prefer a flame over a spark, when I can get one.

TR

alright4u
12-08-2009, 03:20
I am laughing as years ago an SF NCO played a good on me when I was a young LT. Well, the SFOC had a raids and ambush exercise, and; we would go out for three days. This was not the last phase. Anyway it was Nov and cold as hell. One of the senior NCO's tells me -"You don't want to carry that mountain sleeping bag when you can use this." "Sir, this is a space blanket. You do not need anything but this." Well, my ass frooze at night. LMAO.

Habu-MFFI 175
05-01-2010, 15:26
You have to be ambidextrious to do that....:D

mark46th
07-21-2011, 19:02
A spark on a Space Blanket is a great way to start a fire...

wet dog
07-21-2011, 19:57
I want to see the Australian peel with one person.

It's called "Running Away".