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Team Sergeant
02-05-2004, 22:37
How does one find north without aid of a compass?

Survive in -60 degree weather?

Start a fire with no matches?

Snare a rabbit?

Build a poncho raft?

Procure water in a survival situation?

Do you know?

We do.

The Quiet Professionals

CPTAUSRET
02-05-2004, 23:09
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
How does one find north without aid of a compass?

Survive in -60 degree weather?

Start a fire with no matches?

Snare a rabbit?

Build a poncho raft?

Procure water in a survival situation?

Do you know?

We do.

The Quiet Professionals

I have accomplished a few of these, but not in the last 30plus years.

So start with the first one, finding North w/out a compass.

Forget true north, magnetic north, etc.

Terry

Razor
02-05-2004, 23:17
Day or night? ;)

Team Sergeant
02-05-2004, 23:17
It's really very simple, but you must answer me a few questions.

In which hemisphere are you located?

Is it currently day or night.

CPTAUSRET
02-05-2004, 23:18
Originally posted by Razor
Day or night? ;)

Day, overcast conditions:

Southern hemisphere:

Team Sergeant
02-05-2004, 23:23
Originally posted by CPTAUSRET
Day, overcast conditions:

Southern hemisphere:


Is there enough ambient light to cast a shadow in your overcast southern hemisphere?

Roguish Lawyer
02-05-2004, 23:23
How about all of the following:

1. Northern hemisphere day
2. Northern hemisphere night
3. Southern hemisphere day
4. Southern hemisphere night

CPTAUSRET
02-05-2004, 23:25
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
Is there enough ambient light to cast a shadow in your overcast southern hemisphere?

We'll give you shadows:

Terry

CPTAUSRET
02-05-2004, 23:26
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
How about all of the following:

1. Northern hemisphere day
2. Northern hemisphere night
3. Southern hemisphere day
4. Southern hemisphere night

Works for me:

Terry

Team Sergeant
02-05-2004, 23:33
Northern and Southern hemisphere, "Day"

1. Place a stick into the ground at a spot where it will cast a shadow. Mark the shadow's tip with a stone, twig, or other means. This first shadow mark is always west--everywhere on earth.

2. Wait 20-30 minutes until the shadow tip moves a few inches. Mark the shadow tip's new position in the same way as the first.

3. Place your left foot on the first shadow tip. Place your right foot on the second shadow tip. You are now facing north. This is true everywhere on earth.

Roguish Lawyer
02-05-2004, 23:36
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
3. Place your left foot on the first shadow tip. Place your right foot on the second shadow tip. You are now facing north. This is true everywhere on earth.

Heel to the stick side, toe on the shadow tip?

Team Sergeant
02-05-2004, 23:38
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
Heel to the stick side, toe on the shadow tip?

LOL, I'll have an "Attorney" version tomorrow.

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 00:12
OK, I couldn't wait. The line between the two tips is the east-west axis, with the first one being west. So your heels should be on the stick side of the axis.

What about at night?

AngelsSix
02-06-2004, 11:16
You can use the moon, or stars......or a wristwatch (during the day).

The Reaper
02-06-2004, 11:21
Originally posted by AngelsSix
You can use the moon, or stars......or a wristwatch (during the day).

You can use the moon if you want, but I don't think you will get where you want to be.

Trust me on that one.

TR

AngelsSix
02-06-2004, 11:27
Okay, I was thinking along the terms of using the shadow (on the moon itself) to get a general idea of where North is??

Team Sergeant
02-06-2004, 12:36
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
OK, I couldn't wait. The line between the two tips is the east-west axis, with the first one being west. So your heels should be on the stick side of the axis.

What about at night?

You know I’ve taught this to people without benifit of an education all over the world, and never encountered a dilemma.

The foot placement was an idea I’ve always used because, well, it was foolproof., until now.;)




AnglesSix,
I’ve found that teaching the watch method problematical at best when teaching foreign nationals and impossible with Attorneys.

The Team Sergeant

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 13:14
Damn, did I just ruin the whole thread? Keep going, please. I promise to behave from now on. LOL

How do you do it at night? Or is this my homework assignment?

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 15:59
Found this:

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 16:22
Watch method:

(1) A watch can be used to determine the approximate true north and true south. In the north temperate zone only, the hour hand is pointed toward the sun. A south line can be found midway between the hour hand and 1200 hours, standard time. If on daylight saving time, the north-south line is found between the hour hand and 1300 hours. If there is any doubt as to which end of the line is north, remember that the sun is in the east before noon and in the west after noon.

(2) The watch may also be used to determine direction in the south temperate zone; however, the method is different. The 1200-hour dial is pointed toward the sun, and halfway between 1200 hours and the hour hand will be a north line. If on daylight saving time, the north line lies midway between the hour hand and 1300 hours (Figure 9-8).

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 16:24
Here:

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 16:25
Then there is the North Star/Southern Cross, right?

AngelsSix
02-06-2004, 16:57
Team SGT, I understand what you mean about the attorneys........but they are handy to have around!!!:D

RL: The North Star and the Southern cross at night.......what if it is completely overcast???

Team Sergeant
02-06-2004, 17:28
Originally posted by AngelsSix
what if it is completely overcast???

You're phucked.

How does one find the north star?

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 17:58
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
You're phucked.

How does one find the north star?

You look up in the sky. :D

It's the last one on the handle of the little dipper. If I recall, it's very bright relative to the others.

Team Sergeant
02-06-2004, 18:14
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
You look up in the sky. :D

It's the last one on the handle of the little dipper. If I recall, it's very bright relative to the others.

You are a no go at celestial navigation.

You are hereby ordered to turn in your Boy Scout field craft badge immediately.

It is also suggested you contact the Planetary Society for further assistance.

The North Star is actually a very DIM star.

The Team Sergeant

Graduate
Celestial Navigation Course
5th SFG(A)

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 18:32
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
You are a no go at celestial navigation.

You are hereby ordered to turn in your Boy Scout field craft badge immediately.

It is also suggested you contact the Planetary Society for further assistance.

The North Star is actually a very DIM star.

The Team Sergeant

Graduate
Celestial Navigation Course
5th SFG(A)

LOL

I was not, and am not, a Boy Scout.

I can navigate my car on freeways, find the right airport and make connecting flights. Beyond that, I am SOL.

But I am the acorn that becomes the oak, Team Sergeant. I do enjoy the training. No doubt that I need it.

:)

Team Sergeant
02-06-2004, 18:36
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
It's the last one on the handle of the little dipper.

Where did you find this tibit? Madonna's website?

It's the Big Dipper and that's not where it's located!

Anyone? Where and how do you find the North Star?

{little dipper.....@#$!#$$#%$!#}

Desert Fox
02-06-2004, 18:58
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
Where did you find this tibit? Madonna's website?

It's the Big Dipper and that's not where it's located!

Anyone? Where and how do you find the North Star?

{little dipper.....@#$!#$$#%$!#}


You take the the two last stars of the Big Dipper, in the ,,cauldron'' side.You continue in the general direction of the Little Dipper.About 4x the distance between the two stars.

Team Sergeant
02-06-2004, 19:20
Very good and very close, but if I recall , it's closer to 5x the distance between the stars.

The Team Sergeant

Desert Fox
02-06-2004, 19:26
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
Very good and very close, but if I recall , it's closer to 5x the distance between the stars.

The Team Sergeant

Hi Sergeant,

Yes 5x including the distance between the 2 stars...;)

http://www.excaliburelectronics.com/images/navigate/nav050101/BigLittle.jpg

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 19:44
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
Where did you find this tibit? Madonna's website?

It's the Big Dipper and that's not where it's located!

Anyone? Where and how do you find the North Star?

{little dipper.....@#$!#$$#%$!#}

http://www.wildernessmanuals.com/manual_1/chpt_8/6.html

Garbage in, garbage out! LOL

Team Sergeant
02-06-2004, 19:59
Originally posted by Desert Fox
Hi Sergeant,

Yes 5x including the distance between the 2 stars...;)

http://www.excaliburelectronics.com/images/navigate/nav050101/BigLittle.jpg

You had doubts?

The Team Sergeant

(Again, forget "that other guy" on here I think he's a PETA agent.)

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 20:01
Originally posted by AProfSoldier
(Again, forget "that other guy" on here I think he's a PETA agent.)

That's low. :mad: LOL

Team Sergeant
02-06-2004, 20:23
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
You look up in the sky. :D

It's the last one on the handle of the little dipper. If I recall, it's very bright relative to the others.

Polaris aka the North Star is actually at the end of the handle of Ursa Minor, I mis-read your post, thinking you were speaking of the Big Dipper.

If one travels out side and views the Big Dipper and locates Polaris you will not usually see the "Little Dipper" in it’s entirety as it is hard to discern for the background stars. As a night star Polaris is bright as compared to the other stars making up the “Little Dipper” but Dim as to the stars making up the “Big Dipper.”

Razor
02-06-2004, 22:11
IIRC, you can use the moon to find south from when its a thin crescent to shortly before it becomes half-full. Connect the two 'points' with a straight line on the concurve side of the crescent, then continue that line down to the horizon. That's a very rough measurement, but it gets you in the ballpark.

If you have a hard time finding Ursa Major (the Big Dipper), try locating Casseopia, which looks like a skewed 'W'. From the 'points' on the W, track west and you should bump into Ursa Major.

Valhal
02-07-2004, 18:21
Can you give some examples of how you use pace count for land nav.

On a flat paved marked greenbelt I count about 900 paces to a mile, that's wearing a 40lbs weighted vest and 5lbs ankle weights doing a little over 15 minute a mile tempo.

What should I expect in the rough terrain of the foot hills?

Thanks,
Mark

Desert Fox
02-07-2004, 18:54
Originally posted by Valhal
Can you give some examples of how you use pace count for land nav.

On a flat paved marked greenbelt I count about 900 paces to a mile, that's wearing a 40lbs weighted vest and 5lbs ankle weights doing a little over 15 minute a mile tempo.

What should I expect in the rough terrain of the foot hills?

Thanks,
Mark

Hi,

I count approx 115 pairs (easier to count 2 paces than each) for 100m of forest.Thats because I avoid obstacles.On a road I do approx half less paces.But this is for me, for you it will changes.So you have to try.Very easy to found your paces with a GPS.
I use a little rope and I attach it to a button hole.Every 100m I add a node.

Team Sergeant
02-07-2004, 19:10
Originally posted by Valhal
Can you give some examples of how you use pace count for land nav.

On a flat paved marked greenbelt I count about 900 paces to a mile, that's wearing a 40lbs weighted vest and 5lbs ankle weights doing a little over 15 minute a mile tempo.

What should I expect in the rough terrain of the foot hills?

Thanks,
Mark

See me in the pace count thread....

archade
08-10-2009, 17:36
Dear QPs,

There is another mean to find the north with stars. It doesn't work all night long. It depends on where you are on earth.

This is the Orion's constallation ( The Hunter)

For those who don't know this method would you mind to follow those instruction please?

Firstly open 400px...image. This is the constellation. You could noticed tree stars in a raw on the middle of The Hunter.

Secondly open step 1 image. On those tree stars we can put an arrow (feel free to change the color :o) this red arrow is near to indicate North.

Thirdly open step 2 image. On this one we can add another arrow. This blue arrow is near to indicate North too.

finally open step 3 image. Between both arrows we can add this white arrow who indicate surely North.

Unless you need a very accurate angle of walking, the red arrow is enough keep your walk / drive northward.

Sorry for the english

Archade's €.02

Diablo Blanco
09-29-2009, 16:12
Using the Southern Cross at Night

Crux - also known as the Southern Cross - has FIVE stars (not four like the false cross).

Take the distance between the two furthest stars/tips (the only two that are not blue-white stars) and multiply by 4.5 times the distance to an imaginary point. There is no visible star for South, just an imaginary point.

BrerRabbit
12-16-2009, 13:25
How does one find north without aid of a compass? Handheld GPS with lots of backup batteries, or always carry FM 21-76 with you.

Survive in -60 degree weather? Hope your hands are still warm enough to turn to the correct section in FM 21-76.

Start a fire with no matches? Peel plastic away from negative end of one of the backup batteries, take a staple out of FM 21-76, bend into a 'U' shape and place between paper insulator on negative side where you removed plastic. DO NOT let other end of staple touch the exposed negative side. Tear less important pages from FM 21-76, and use as tinder. Start fire by pressing negative side of battery down on tinder.

Snare a rabbit? FM 21-76

Build a poncho raft? Bush, Australian or Donut? FM 21-76

Procure water in a survival situation? FM 21-76

Go Devil
12-16-2009, 17:35
How does one find north without aid of a compass? Handheld GPS with lots of backup batteries, or always carry FM 21-76 with you.

Survive in -60 degree weather? Hope your hands are still warm enough to turn to the correct section in FM 21-76.

Start a fire with no matches? Peel plastic away from negative end of one of the backup batteries, take a staple out of FM 21-76, bend into a 'U' shape and place between paper insulator on negative side where you removed plastic. DO NOT let other end of staple touch the exposed negative side. Tear less important pages from FM 21-76, and use as tinder. Start fire by pressing negative side of battery down on tinder.

Snare a rabbit? FM 21-76

Build a poncho raft? Bush, Australian or Donut? FM 21-76

Procure water in a survival situation? FM 21-76

You’ve submitted a nursery rhyme for post graduate study?

BrerRabbit
12-16-2009, 19:40
:rolleyes:

"Nothing is more discouraging than unappreciated sarcasm."

Blitzzz (RIP)
12-16-2009, 19:49
Can you give some examples of how you use pace count for land nav.

On a flat paved marked greenbelt I count about 900 paces to a mile, that's wearing a 40lbs weighted vest and 5lbs ankle weights doing a little over 15 minute a mile tempo.

What should I expect in the rough terrain of the foot hills?

Thanks,
Mark
Just curious Valhal,Your pace length with ruck would have to be around 6 foot 5 inches long. More like running. a normal "pace is around 39 to 40 inches making 900 of those around 2,880 feet a mile is 5,280 if I remember.

FirstClass
12-16-2009, 20:19
if you're facing the rising sun, north is your left hand, if you're facing the setting sun, north is your right hand...just in case you don't have 30 min to nap.:D

Pete
12-17-2009, 05:32
if you're facing the rising sun, north is your left hand, if you're facing the setting sun, north is your right hand...just in case you don't have 30 min to nap.:D

Depending on your lattitude.

Right now, here, the sun is coming up in the southeast. In the summer its in the northeast. About a 60ish deg swing.

Helps with finding North if you remember the "offset" :D .

AF IDMT
12-17-2009, 07:40
Ok I admit it, my Suunto is a crutch.

Team Sergeant
12-17-2009, 09:38
Ok I admit it, my Suunto is a crutch.

Think of it as a watch. Now, without a watch I'm betting you could "guess" the hour of the day with a high degree of accuracy.

And, if you look at the compass often enough over time you will become aware of how you're orientated just about every where.

HowardCohodas
12-17-2009, 11:04
How does one find north without aid of a compass?

Survive in -60 degree weather?

Start a fire with no matches?

Snare a rabbit?

Build a poncho raft?

Procure water in a survival situation?


Wow! Nearly fifty posts dealing almost exclusively with finding north. Can't wait to see how this thread continues to develop.

AF IDMT
12-17-2009, 15:22
Now, without a watch I'm betting you could "guess" the hour of the day with a high degree of accuracy.

You assume much, kind Sir. :D

Seriously though, I see your point.

Dozer523
06-18-2010, 06:03
So I'm curious, how does one manage to survive in minus sixty degree weather?
Staying dry (avoiding environmental water and sweating)
Insulating to maintain body heat,
Eating a lot to generate and maintain core heat
Finding shelter and not goofing around thinking this is a situation that can be sustained over the long term because it can't.

http://www.jacklondons.net/buildafire.html

Last hard class
06-18-2010, 09:33
So I'm curious, how does one manage to survive in minus sixty degree weather?

In Feb of 85' 1st of the 5th did our winter training in the Utah mountains. Survival week turned out to be one of the coldest in the continental U.S history.
-60 or -70 if I recall.

Being desert oriented our cold weather gear was 10th group hand me downs with Korean war era Mickey Mouse boots.( can you say sucks?) Before you went to bed you would put your canteen next to your body inside your clothes, all five layers, and then crawl inside your sleeping bag. In the morning the canteen would be frozen. Of course our canteens were plastic so you could not heat the frozen water.


The upside: The next week watching 150 camouflaged idiots who couldn't ski barreling down the black diamonds was almost worth the trouble.

Anyone here remember that trip?

Back to the thread:
Dehydration is commonly overlooked in the cold. You have to work slow. If you start sweating it may come back to bite you when the sun drops.

Diablo Blanco
06-20-2010, 02:40
I was in the field, in Utah, in January a few years back and had to use a trick I learned in Korea. Not the smartest thing for long term but it worked. I think it was either -17 or -40, I don't remember which (I took a knock on the head while there)

Anyways, our op wasn't as mobile as I expected so we ended up standing and laying around a lot. I got cold real quick. My feet had the sharp pains and it sucked. The wind wasn't helpful either. I donned my wet weather gear including the wet-weather/MOPP boots and stayed nice and warm. I'd have to wiggle my toes noe and then to get the blood flowing but overall was good to go.

One problem though, when we got out of the field my boots were soaked through with sweat and black from the boots. Took awhole to get them cleaned. Saved my toes though!

cobra22
11-21-2010, 23:59
After many weekends hiking and trying to teach my 7 YO son how to read a map, and compass, today he successfully led the way to two land navigation points I set up out by Pat Hurley lake. First one 900m and the second 1700m. The look of accomplishment on his face was worth the wait. He was even giving his mother tips. I figure once he gets the compass down packed then we can move onto improvised methods.

DLeya
11-30-2010, 23:22
Snare a rabbit?



There are several different types of rabbit snares. If limited supplies are available, a shoelace should be adequate. One method for constructing a simple snare begins with scoping for and/or locating possible rabbit or similar sized game trails*. A noose should be tied on one end of the shoelace (large enough for a rabbit's head to fit through). The other end should be secured to a moderately strong and sturdy object. A tree branch anchored into the ground and overlooking your desired location can work fine. The hole of the noose should be placed in the animal's path.

A rabbit would mistaken the snare for a piece of grass and the noose would slip around its neck, tightening as panic increased.

Hope this is enough information.

Respectfully,

Dleya


*Note: rabbit snares can be efficient in capturing other small animals as well

wet dog
11-30-2010, 23:31
After many weekends hiking and trying to teach my 7 YO son how to read a map, and compass, today he successfully led the way to two land navigation points I set up out by Pat Hurley lake. First one 900m and the second 1700m. The look of accomplishment on his face was worth the wait. He was even giving his mother tips. I figure once he gets the compass down packed then we can move onto improvised methods.

That's very cool. Good on him.

perdurabo
12-01-2010, 13:12
I worked on the flightline (no trees/bushes) in the UP of Michigan, so I have a little experience here. We/I also did a lot of testing for new or upcoming polar gear for the military.

Here's my bit part on surviving in -60 degree weather:

- Stay dry (don't get wet, and avoid sweating)
- Stay out of the wind, even if a breeze
- Utilize many layers (including on your hands and feet)
- Don't drink alcohol
- Avoid any sort of chemical reaction heat warmer doohickeys. They heat up real nice, which causes you to sweat, and in those kinds of temperatures they don't stay warm but for a few minutes.
- Avoid any neoprene polar gear (we tested a bunch of this for body, hands, and face). It doesn't keep you warm, and its not breathable, so again, you sweat. It's unsuitable.
- And lastly, find the nearest diesel engine or bonfire ASAP :lifter

When the temps got in the realm of -60, diesel engines stop wanting to run (our trucks ran 24/7), even with their grills covered.

We would wear:

Head: baclava with two layers of wool with a layer of gortex between them, one of those funny mil issue russian style flight hats (the silvery ones that made you look like you had snoopy ears) on top of that.

Torso: The mil issue polar suits (they looked like really heavy duty carrhart deals)

Hands: flight gloves (I believe SOF guys fancy these), oversized mil issue wool gloves over these, and the mil issue polar mittens over these.

Feet: 2-3 layers of socks (the innermost layer a thin wicking sock, the outermost thick wool). "Bunny" boots over these, or "muckalucks"

Much of the time we were out there without a heat source and this kept us uncomfortably alive.

If I were in an alpine environment, I would get out of the wind, build a snow cave and try to build a fire (I *always* carry a lighter, even though I don't smoke). I would saw off every bough I could get my Leatherman Wave on (which I also carry everywhere. I also have a spare Gerber multitool in my pack).

I know this goes against what is taught in alpine survival schools, but I would avoid eating snow (and cold water, if at all possible). I was stupid once (just once!) and got myself in a hairy situation during a climbing trip and had to rely on eating snow for hydration and I believe it was helping me go hypothermic. Paradoxal undressing is a hard thing to fight, especially when your brain is scrambled. I had hiked this mountain many times before and it was considered easy. But I left too late and didn't check the weather reports (two extremely stupid mistakes).

metaphor
12-14-2010, 15:54
If no other means were available, I would use the bow drill method. It is an acquired skill not sufficient to have only read about in a manual. It should be practiced regularly and using different types of wood found on the landscape in varied regions and conditions if it is to be effective in any given survival situation. Materials needed: Fireboard, tinder-bundle, spindle, hand-hold, bow stick, cordage, and lubricant for hand hold (ear wax may be sufficient), wood for fire from kindling size up to about the thickness of your thumb or larger.

Find a bow about the length from your armpit to your hand, curved is ideal, and a little flex is okay. The cord should be about a foot longer than the bow. Cordage must be strong enough to withstand the drilling motion and have enough grip to grab the spindle as it turns. Experiment with tightness of the cord, and you will know when it is right. If you are not getting enough friction on the fireboard and the spindle is slipping in the cord you may need to make it a little tighter. A clove hitch is a good knot to tie the cord onto the bow. Cordage material can be anything from your shoestring or paracord to primitive cordage made from plants with the double reverse wrap method (if this is used the cord should be constructed of equal thickness throughout and may have to be lubricated with pitch so it doesn’t burn and break in the process.)

You are attempting to bring the suns energy back out of the wood you are using. Choosing the right wood is essential. Softer wood is best and the fireboard and spindle hardness should match as closely as possible. Use the fingernail test on the wood. You want some give when you push your finger nail in, and again match that fingernail test as closely as possible on the wood used for the spindle and fireboard. Length of your spindle should be about thumb tip to pinky tip. Taper on top and bottom of the spindle so it looks like a pencil sharpened on both ends. Hold the spindle flat on the fireboard about a quarter inch from the edge and stand the spindle up with the point touching the fireboard. This is where you will begin the “burn hole” for a lack of a better word. Cut a small groove in the fire board at this point with your knife (or stone tool). Cut a similar groove in the center of your hand hold. By the way, the hand hold should be large enough so it fits comfortably in your hand.

This is difficult to explain without pictures, but wrap the spindle in the cord of the bow so it is centered on the cord and the cord is centered on the spindle, the spindle should be oriented on the outside of the line of the cord. I need to find some pictures now to explain this…but, next place the ends of the spindle in the grooves of the fireboard and the hand hold. Put your weak foot on the fireboard, strong knee on the ground behind you…weak forearm/wrist on your shin…weak hand holding the hand hold…strong hand on the bow. Push the bow back and forth slowly, increasing speed until you see smoke, meaning the holes are burnt in slightly. Bow strokes should be as long as possible and done in a calm manner, while maintaining a good downward pressure on the handhold. Once the initial holes are burnt in, apply lubricant onto the top point of the spindle so that the hand hold no longer burns. Lubricant may come in many forms: ear wax, oils from the sides of your nose, soap, pitch, etc. Once this is done, begin turning again and burn in the fireboard hole a little deeper until the circumference is about the same as the circumference of the spindle.

Cut the notch. Imagine the fireboard hole (pit would be a better word) is a pie and cut 1/8 of that pie from the edge of the fireboard to the center of the “pit.” If the center of the spindle is pithy or hollow, then don’t cut all the way to the center.

Prepare tinder bundle. Find fine tinder material, the finer the better. Prepare it like a nest, this is the cradle for the coal baby you will be birthing.

Place the tinder bundle under the notch of the fire board, and set up your kit and begin turning the spindle like previously. Increase your speed and pressure until smoke appears, using long strokes and a prayer. Point the spindle straight up to the sky to “grab the sun’s energy and force it straight into the fireboard.” When you see smoke increase speed and pressure even more without losing your balance. When the fireboard smokes continuously without effort, check for a coal. If you have a smoking black coal, gently pour it into the tinder bundle “cradle.” Now relax, you now have time. Gently fold the coal inside the bundle hold above your head to catch the prevailing wind and gently blow. If smoke pours out it is safe to blow harder. Continue blowing and praying until flames appear. Place in the center of your well prepared fire tepee and enjoy…

perdurabo
12-14-2010, 16:41
If no other means were available, I would use the bow drill method. It is an acquired skill not sufficient to have only read about in a manual. It should be practiced regularly and using different types of wood found on the landscape in varied regions and conditions if it is to be effective in any given survival situation. Materials needed: Fireboard, tinder-bundle, spindle, hand-hold, bow stick, cordage, and lubricant for hand hold (ear wax may be sufficient), wood for fire from kindling size up to about the thickness of your thumb or larger.

Find a bow about the length from your armpit to your hand, curved is ideal, and a little flex is okay. The cord should be about a foot longer than the bow. Cordage must be strong enough to withstand the drilling motion and have enough grip to grab the spindle as it turns. Experiment with tightness of the cord, and you will know when it is right. If you are not getting enough friction on the fireboard and the spindle is slipping in the cord you may need to make it a little tighter. A clove hitch is a good knot to tie the cord onto the bow. Cordage material can be anything from your shoestring or paracord to primitive cordage made from plants with the double reverse wrap method (if this is used the cord should be constructed of equal thickness throughout and may have to be lubricated with pitch so it doesn’t burn and break in the process.)

You are attempting to bring the suns energy back out of the wood you are using. Choosing the right wood is essential. Softer wood is best and the fireboard and spindle hardness should match as closely as possible. Use the fingernail test on the wood. You want some give when you push your finger nail in, and again match that fingernail test as closely as possible on the wood used for the spindle and fireboard. Length of your spindle should be about thumb tip to pinky tip. Taper on top and bottom of the spindle so it looks like a pencil sharpened on both ends. Hold the spindle flat on the fireboard about a quarter inch from the edge and stand the spindle up with the point touching the fireboard. This is where you will begin the “burn hole” for a lack of a better word. Cut a small groove in the fire board at this point with your knife (or stone tool). Cut a similar groove in the center of your hand hold. By the way, the hand hold should be large enough so it fits comfortably in your hand.

This is difficult to explain without pictures, but wrap the spindle in the cord of the bow so it is centered on the cord and the cord is centered on the spindle, the spindle should be oriented on the outside of the line of the cord. I need to find some pictures now to explain this…but, next place the ends of the spindle in the grooves of the fireboard and the hand hold. Put your weak foot on the fireboard, strong knee on the ground behind you…weak forearm/wrist on your shin…weak hand holding the hand hold…strong hand on the bow. Push the bow back and forth slowly, increasing speed until you see smoke, meaning the holes are burnt in slightly. Bow strokes should be as long as possible and done in a calm manner, while maintaining a good downward pressure on the handhold. Once the initial holes are burnt in, apply lubricant onto the top point of the spindle so that the hand hold no longer burns. Lubricant may come in many forms: ear wax, oils from the sides of your nose, soap, pitch, etc. Once this is done, begin turning again and burn in the fireboard hole a little deeper until the circumference is about the same as the circumference of the spindle.

Cut the notch. Imagine the fireboard hole (pit would be a better word) is a pie and cut 1/8 of that pie from the edge of the fireboard to the center of the “pit.” If the center of the spindle is pithy or hollow, then don’t cut all the way to the center.

Prepare tinder bundle. Find fine tinder material, the finer the better. Prepare it like a nest, this is the cradle for the coal baby you will be birthing.

Place the tinder bundle under the notch of the fire board, and set up your kit and begin turning the spindle like previously. Increase your speed and pressure until smoke appears, using long strokes and a prayer. Point the spindle straight up to the sky to “grab the sun’s energy and force it straight into the fireboard.” When you see smoke increase speed and pressure even more without losing your balance. When the fireboard smokes continuously without effort, check for a coal. If you have a smoking black coal, gently pour it into the tinder bundle “cradle.” Now relax, you now have time. Gently fold the coal inside the bundle hold above your head to catch the prevailing wind and gently blow. If smoke pours out it is safe to blow harder. Continue blowing and praying until flames appear. Place in the center of your well prepared fire tepee and enjoy…

This is a great writeup. The only thing I'd added (for those without field advice) is practice this BEFORE you need it.

Figuring out the physics and the kinds of stuff you need take some time. Memorizing how to do this isn't enough. You don't want to figure out ideal stick & drill sizes after you are cold, wet, exhausted, and hungry.

I went on a long hike last weekend and managed to get a cherry under a tree stand in torrential rain and winds for the first time. I figure if I'm good to go there...

Go on a hike, find a safe/private area, and practice.

metaphor
12-14-2010, 17:58
This is a great writeup. The only thing I'd added (for those without field advice) is practice this BEFORE you need it.

Figuring out the physics and the kinds of stuff you need take some time. Memorizing how to do this isn't enough. You don't want to figure out ideal stick & drill sizes after you are cold, wet, exhausted, and hungry.

I went on a long hike last weekend and managed to get a cherry under a tree stand in torrential rain and winds for the first time. I figure if I'm good to go there...

Go on a hike, find a safe/private area, and practice.

Well put. Best feeling in the world when you get it right. Cheers. :)

Back211
01-17-2011, 13:03
If your trying to make a hot fire pine cones and needles burn hot but sometimes burn too smokey. Pine needles burn out fast when their dry, they make a great addition to the fire due to their oil content.

I heard this "saying" to help in extreme circumstances, however I feel this is only to help prioritize rather than a rule in extreme situations:

3 minutes without air
3 hours without shelter
3 days without water
3 weeks without food

Sarski
01-23-2011, 17:38
Quick question(s) about the snow cave, as I have heard digging into the snow for shelter is a great survival skill in extreme weather.

Can you please elaborate on the cave itself? Does it need to be a certain depth below the snow? One opening or two? Does one cover the main opening with snow or brush just enough so airflow is not hampered? How big should the cave be, or how far should one tunnel into the snow away from the main opening?

Also does it matter if you sleep with your head towards or away from the main opening? Thanks in advance.

wet dog
01-23-2011, 18:01
Quick question(s) about the snow cave, as I have heard digging into the snow for shelter is a great survival skill in extreme weather.

Can you please elaborate on the cave itself? Does it need to be a certain depth below the snow? One opening or two? Does one cover the main opening with snow or brush just enough so airflow is not hampered? How big should the cave be, or how far should one tunnel into the snow away from the main opening?

Also does it matter if you sleep with your head towards or away from the main opening? Thanks in advance.


The snow cave can be built on flat ground.

Two men can build a snow cave in under 3 hours without too much effort. While snow is piled high, 4-5ft., another walks on the pile compressing it tight with snow shoes or skis. I prefer the shovel to the endless stompting, so take turns, both tasks are tough.

The inside dimensions should accomodate the width of two persons with enough roon in between for cooking (18"), equipment, etc., the length to accomodate sleeping bags, rucksacks. Leave skiis and snow shoe outside.

One person should do the digging, the other to watch for thinnning walls. Make a air vent with a ski pole from the inside. The digging person will wear jacket, pants, plan on getting wet. Use pots, pans, small shovel to shape the inside cave.

I've made many snow caves, most are good for 2 nights, 3 if your lucky, snow does melt with bodies inside, temps will rise quickly above 32degrees, higher still if you burn alot of fuel, melting ice, cooking, etc. I've awakened many mornings with the cave settling more then a foot from original ceiling heigth.

A snow drift will last longer, but really tough to dig and you never know the ground level, depth, size, etc. I had success along tree lines, fences and the old barn. Practice making caves long before you ever think you might need to ever make one. Caves can be built in the city park, golf cources, they are fun to do, kids like them and you can always go home for popcorn, movies and hot chocolate.

Good luck.

Dusty
01-23-2011, 18:14
Quick question(s) about the snow cave, as I have heard digging into the snow for shelter is a great survival skill in extreme weather.

Can you please elaborate on the cave itself? Does it need to be a certain depth below the snow? One opening or two? Does one cover the main opening with snow or brush just enough so airflow is not hampered? How big should the cave be, or how far should one tunnel into the snow away from the main opening?

Also does it matter if you sleep with your head towards or away from the main opening? Thanks in advance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9jlLhfpCO0

lksteve
01-24-2011, 08:25
Quick question(s) about the snow cave, as I have heard digging into the snow for shelter is a great survival skill in extreme weather.WD hit the main points about snow caves...let me add a couple, although they should be self-evident...you want to drain melt water away from the sleeping area. That is usually done by creating a channel along the inside perimeter of the cave. The melt water usually winds up in the cold sink near the entrance to the cave...some folks will try to lengthen the period of residence in the cave by adding snow to the roof...not a good idea...and finally, snow in central Alaska and other places where the temps drop well below zero fahrenheit is seldom suitable for caves. The snow itself is too dry and not cohesive...when it packs, it is very brittle, more the consistency of styrofoam...Bad Toelz and Fort Devens were great places for snow caves...Fort Wainwright, Alaska was not...I've had trouble finding good snow for a cave or igloo in the central Rockies as well...tree pits and snow trenches are the way to go in these areas...

MVP
01-24-2011, 08:46
If there are no drifts available as WD said snow can be piled up and packed. Best procedure is to take all your gear and put it in a pile where you want the cave. Cover it with a poncho or similiar covering and then pile/pack the snow on top. Once the snow is packed high enough dig down to your gear and pull it out to finish the inside of the cave. Doing it this way will save you a lot of time lying in the snow getting wet while you dig out snow you just shoveled and packed to make the cave.

The option is to do it the ranger way and get completely soaked and miserable.:lifter

MVP

Golf1echo
01-24-2011, 12:48
Hard shell jacket and pants can come in handy, as MVP said from being intimate with the snow your going to get wet, also regulate your work so as to control overheating. One method to reduce time and energy is to dig into a drift or hill side with a larger opening than you might typically use for a snow cave and when your interior space is finished go back and use snow blocks to build a wall at the opening leaving a small entrance that can be closed off.
Iksteve touched on the point that even in the middle of Winter in places like the Colorado Rockies it is not always workable to find good conditions to build a snow cave. Many a night at the old Camp Hale area a comfy snow trench worked fine and saved energy. Where I live now we get ice and poor snow, good insulation and a hard shell does the job.
Here is a G1 Multi Shell and G1 Liners.

Edit: One of the most effective elements that I have found in cold weather shelters is to have a dome shape above you that vents at the side, this holds the heat in your shelter while allowing fresh air to circulate as needed thus helping to control CO2 and condensation. If the venting is done at the top your heat loss is greater. Basically you are harnessing natural convective flows. The opposite would be true for a warm weather shelter, you want the heat to rise up and out. Second photo is an example of a simple,quick, light and efficient cold weather configuration.

wet dog
01-24-2011, 21:38
The very best snow cave I ever saw was a semi-permanent structure made of whale ribs and animal skins, it slept aprox. 30 people. I say semi-permanent because it was moved every 5 years between hunting areas, 150 miles apart.

This thing had three levels!!! The children slept in the center near the fire with a few dogs and all young pups. Average temp in winter was aprox. 50 degress inside, -50 outside. Walls in winter were 2 ft thick, (ice-snow). Summer time, it was just hides.

The place gave you a feeling of stepping back in time 25,000 years.

ZonieDiver
01-25-2011, 05:55
The place gave you a feeling of stepping back in time 25,000 years.

Damn, WD! I knew you were old, just not THAT old! :D

lksteve
01-25-2011, 08:15
Damn, WD! I knew you were old, just not THAT old!You saying he still has his mastadon tags from the Pleistocene?

Golf1echo
01-28-2011, 08:11
Wet Dog, I find myself very curious about the snow shelter mentioned can you tell more about it? Shape, construction, orientation spacial division,etc...?

wet dog
01-28-2011, 08:28
Wet Dog, I find myself very curious about the snow shelter mentioned can you tell more about it? Shape, construction, orientation spacial division,etc...?

The small shelter used for 1-2 nights, or the large Eskimo shelter made from whale bones and hides?

The attached photo is a good example of a larger extended Eskimo village, even by 1920 standards. You see the coast line, semi-modern buildings and tents, limited power lines, generator supported, commo wire and radio.

Now jump to 1980-1990, 2000 - In an Eskimo village, things change little. Now imagine the enire area (photo shown), under 15 ft of show/ice. Buildings have little use, very cold, often abandoned. Families quickly hunker down, old people tell stories, teach language, make tools. The young bucks, (ages 15-25) do all the heavy lifting, hunting. Women make clothing, kids play with dogs.

Edited to read also: The poles used in this photo most likely came from the availability of ships in repair, harbor for supplies, etc. Villages up and down coastal regions used whatever means at their disposal, (i.e., whale bones, seal hides, etc.).

This village, I'm betting is still there, but modernized, xbox 360, movie channel, news, PS.com.

Golf1echo
01-28-2011, 10:14
I was referring to the larger whale bone shelter, it conjured up the Norse Long House.

That is a wonderful image!....it looks like bears, nets and frost heave were considerations. What you describe is similar to the Icelandic experience. For man to survive in such extremes for the long duration of Winter and darkness is impressive. Great,Thank you.

wet dog
01-28-2011, 12:13
...For man to survive in such extremes for the long duration of Winter and darkness is impressive...

That's nothing, I've been divorced twice.

tom kelly
01-28-2011, 14:03
The coldest place on earth is a site known as the RIDGE A it is nearly 14,000 meters high and is located deep within the The Antarctic Plateau. It has an average winter temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit ( minus 70 degrees Celsius) It is so remote that it is thought that no human has ever set foot there. Information was obtained from the "Telegraph" Jan.28,2011. The record for the coldest recorded place on earth is Vostok Station Antarctia where the Temperature reached -129 degrees F (-89.4 C ) on 21 July 1983.This information was published by Russian scientist who worked at the station during the summer of 1983 their instrumentation and and methodology are somewhat suspect, considering they did not have the instrumentation that is avaiable today 28 years later. FM 21-76 SURVIVAL Dept. of the Army Field Manual was published in October 1970. That was 41 years ago, I believe more up to date information is avaiable today. regard's, tom kelly

Golf1echo
02-13-2011, 09:10
"That's nothing, I've been divorced twice."

Unfortunately, I understand most of that.

You peaked my curiosity with the Whalebone Shelter. I dug up some good stuff. There are some very eloquent shelters. Interior views show how flat stone on the floor and base of the perimeter are used as a heat sink. Others show lofts within.

akv
02-13-2011, 11:33
This story never ceases to amaze me, as to what is possible.

Shackletons Leadership Role

During the "Heroic Age of Exploration," the period in which Shackleton's 1914-1916 British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition took place, Antarctic expeditions often became ordeals of suffering. At the time, polar explorers were revered for their sacrifices and held up as heroes, albeit often tragic ones.
At this same time, Shackleton distinguished himself as a hero, not only among the masses, but also among the 27 men—officers, scientists and seamen—who were his crew members on the expedition. Shackleton earned the respect of these men, not to mention the respect of millions today, by being a leader who put his men's well-being, both mental and physical, above all else.

Shackleton's extraordinary leadership skills contributed to these 27 men successfully braving the nearly two years they were stranded in the Antarctic, when the expedition ship, the Endurance, was trapped and then crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea.

Shackleton's accomplishment as a leader started with his selection of the Endurance crew. He handpicked some members, including two who had served him faithfully and performed exceptionally on a previous expedition. To recruit the rest, it is said that he posted the following notice:

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.


Shackleton's recruitment notice was brutally honest about the discomforts and dangers to be faced. When the Endurance crew members indeed encountered all of the above-mentioned conditions, they accepted them as best they could, for they had been forewarned. And they looked to Shackleton, whom they called "The Boss," for guidance about how to survive the elements, both physically and emotionally.

When the Endurance became locked in pack ice, Shackleton ordered the men to pursue every possible means of extricating the ship from the icy jaws of the Weddell Sea, including using ice picks and saws in attempts to reach leads sighted sometimes hundreds of yards away. While these labors were ultimately futile, it was useful to have the men experience this firsthand, so they would neither question their predicament of having to "winter in the pack" nor become bitter with "what ifs," such as "If we had only been allowed to cut our way out of the ice, we'd have reached the Antarctic continent by now."

Shackleton's calm and confidence in the more dire circumstances were heartening to his crew. Commenting on Shackleton's reaction to their inability to free the Endurance from the ice, Alexander Macklin, the ship's doctor, said, "It was at this moment Shackleton...showed one of his sparks of real greatness. He did not...show...the slightest sign of disappointment. He told us simply and calmly that we would have to spend the winter in the pack."

Shackleton sustained morale and created a unified team by keeping everyone busy—and equal. For example, during the long months in which the crew lived on the Endurance as a winter station, Shackleton ignored the predominant class system of the time and had scientists scrubbing floors alongside seaman and university professors eating beside Yorkshire fisherman.

In addition, Shackleton encouraged more than work-based camaraderie. The men played football on the ice, participated in nightly sing-alongs and toasts to loved ones back home, organized highly competitive dog-sled races—and even collectively shaved their heads, posing for expedition photographer Frank Hurley.

In the few circumstances in which crew members did not subscribe to the teamwork philosophy, such as when seaman John Vincent was reported to be bullying others, Shackleton swiftly reprimanded them, setting an example. Called to Shackleton's cabin, Vincent left it humbled and demoted.

While Shackleton was called "The Boss" by his men, he did not differentiate himself from them. When the crew moved off the debilitated ship to a camp on the ice, Shackleton ensured that neither he nor his officers received preferential treatment.

"There was only 18 skin [sleeping] bags & we cast lots for them," wrote ship's carpenter Chippy McNeish. "I was lucky for the first time in my life for I drew one."

"There was some crooked work in the drawing," able seaman Bakewell wrote, "as Sir Ernest, Mr. Wild...Captain Worsley and some of the other officers all drew wool [sleeping] bags. The fine warm fur bags all went to the men under them."

In addition, in an attempt to help his crew get over the trauma of abandoning the Endurance, Shackleton literally served his men: Rising early in the morning, he made hot milk and hand-delivered it to every tent in the camp.

Shackleton's mantra of unity and show of humanity was infectious. While his men were suffering from the most terrible deprivation, they often rose to his example and showed tremendous compassion for each other. When First Officer Lionel Greenstreet spilled his much-needed milk on the ice, he seemed almost despondent over the loss, and, one by one, the seven men who shared his tent silently poured some of their equally precious ration into his mug, refilling it.

During the brutal, seven-day lifeboat journey to Elephant Island, Shackleton literally stood tall, boosting the morale of his suffering men by standing at the tiller, hour after hour. Later, during the 17-day sail to South Georgia Island, Shackleton monitored the health of his five companions constantly. Captain Frank Worsley later wrote, "Whenever Shackleton notices that a man seems extra cold and shivering, he immediately orders another hot drink served to all." Worsley explained that Shackleton was careful not to single out the man suffering the most, for he would not want to frighten him about his condition.

In the face of changing circumstances and constant danger, Shackleton remained positive and decisive, which buoyed his crew. Further, throughout the 22-month Endurance expedition, Shackleton was able to bring the best in each of his men.

Each crew member contributed to the team's survival, from Captain Frank Worsley, whose exceptional navigation guided the men to both Elephant and South Georgia Islands; to carpenter Chippy McNeish, who reinforced the lifeboats; to cook Charles Green, who created meals day after day with limited resources; to Alexander Macklin and James McIlroy, the two doctors, who saved steward Perce Blackborow from gangrene resulting from frostbite; to second-in-command Frank Wild, who served as leader of the 21 men on Elephant Island after the departure of Shackleton and companions for South Georgia.

Twenty-eight ordinary-turned-extraordinary men, led by Shackleton's example, survived nearly two years of unimaginable hardship at the end of the Earth.

http://main.wgbh.org/imax/shackleton/shackleton.html

Diablo Blanco
02-14-2011, 12:26
This story never ceases to amaze me, as to what is possible.


Bravo!