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Alone, documentary what they are doing wrong IMHO
#1
I just watched the last Alone episode where the two brothers won.
And watching a few more on the Internet I have come to the conclusion, many are wasting their energies on an unneeded task.
That is the chopping and sawing firewood. There is no need.
This is how I manage fire wood.
First, as most know, use deadfall; some of the contestants were sawing green wood off trees.
Green wood smokes more and throws sparks.
When I find a branch of deadfall propped up off the ground, which is the driest, I stamp a few pieces off, and then I look for a tree with a split trunk.
Into the fork of the tree I insert four feet of branch, and push against the other end of the branch. 
I try to break off five feet lengths. I can also use a tree with a branch close to the trunk for this purpose. Sometime I have to strip these five feet lengths of finger thick twigs first.
Some times I find two logs on the ground, and use the lever method to break wood with them.
I take this wood to my fire site. I do not use a ring of stones by the way.
I seat myself leaning against a tree trunk up wind of the fire, and place at the right and left of me, the four feet lengths of wood. These I feed into the fire 18 inches a time left and right.
Thicker pieces of wood I lay across the furthest part of the fire to burn through the center of the thick wood.
This provides me with manageable pieces of fire wood.
By cutting the branches by the leverage method, I also remove a lot of damp bark which causes smoke.
In addition I have all the stamped wood, to use for fire starting and general burning.
And have not wasted any energy chopping and sawing fire wood.
What do you think?
"You can't hit the ball unless you take a swing."
Martin Crane

"As God once said - and I think rightly . . ."
Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery

“Steady Monty. you cant speak to me like that. I'm you boss."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


"Remember gentlemen it is not just France we are fighting for, it's champagne."
Churchill 




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#2
testing
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#3
Cutting, chopping, splitting is photogenic, and lends continuity from one contestant to the next.

Maybe the Director told them to do that!
Andre Dumouchel





Having My Name and Living in Texas, it is simply assumed that I will Eat Anything and have Primitive Skills.

(Some Women like a Fella that has Primitive Skills!)

(Some Men Too, and That's Ok!)

Stupidity can be painful, and fun to watch from time to time.
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#4
Well this is what a found a few years ago, which is a useful guide on the subject of firewood.

Alder: Poor heat output and short lasting. A low quality firewood. Produces nice charcoal that burn steady and is useful for homemade gunpowder.

Apple: Great fuel that bums slow and steady when dry, with little flame, sparking or spitting. It has a pleasing scent. It is easier to cut green. Great for cooking.

Ash: Considered one of the burning wood with steady flame and good heat output. It will bum when green, but not as well as when dry. Easily to saw and split.

Beech: Similar to ash, but only burns fair when green. If it has a fault, it may shoot embers out a long ways. It is easy to chop.

Birch: This has good heat output but burns quickly. The smell is also pleasant. It will burn unseasoned. Can cause gum deposits in chimney if used a lot. Rolled up pitch from bark makes a good firestarter and can be peeled from trees without damaging them.

Blackthorn: Burns slowly, with lots of heat and little smoke.

Cedar: This is a great wood that puts out a lot of lasting of heat. It produces a small flame, a nice scent, and lots of crackle and pop. Great splitting wood. Best when dry but small pieces can be burned unseasoned. Good for cooking.

Cherry: A slow burning wood with good heat output. Has a nice sent. Should be seasoned well. Slow to start.

Chestnut: A mediocre fuel that produces a small flame and weak heat output. It also shoots out ambers.

Douglas Fir: A poor fuel that produces little flame or heat.

Elder: A mediocre fuel that burns quickly without much heat output and tends to have thick acrid smoke. The Hag Goddess is know to reside in the Elder tree and burning it invites death. Probably best avoided.

Elm: A variable fuel (Dutch elm disease) with a high water content (140%) that may smoke violently and should be dried for two years for best results. You may need faster burning wood to get elm going. A large log set on the fire before bed will burn till morn. Splitting can be difficult and should be done early on.

Eucalyptus: A fast burning wood with a pleasant smell and no spitting. It is full of sap and oils when fresh and can start a chimney fire if burned unseasoned. The stringy wood fiber may be hard to split and one option is to slice it into rings and allow to season and self split. The gum from the tree produces a fresh medicinal smell on burned which may not be the best for cooking with.

Hawthorn: Good firewood. Burns hot and slow.

Hazel: An excellent fast burning fuel but tends to burn up a bit faster than most other hard woods. Allow to season.

Holly: A good firewood that will burn when green, but best if dried a year. It is fast burning with a bright flame but little heat.

Hornbeam: Burns almost as good as beech with a hot slow burning fire.

Horse Chestnut: A low quality firewood with a good flame and heating power but spits a lot.

Laburnum: Completely poisonous tree with acrid smoke that taints food and is best never used.

Larch: Crackly, scented, and fairly good for heat. It needs to be seasoned well and forms an oily soot in chimneys.

Laurel: Produces a brilliant flame.

Lime: A poor quality fuel with dull flame. Good for carving

Maple: A good firewood.

Oak: Oak has a sparse flame and the smoke is acrid if not seasoned for two years. Dry old oak is excellent for heat, burning slowly and steadily until whole log collapses into cigar-like ash.

Pear: Burns with good heat, good scent and no spitting. Needs to be seasoned well.

Pine: Bums with a splendid flame, but apt to spit. Needs to be seasoned well and is another oily soot in chimney wood. Smells great and its resinous wood makes great kindling.

Plane: Burns pleasantly, but is apt to throw sparks if very dry.

Plum: Wood provides good heat with a nice aromatic sent.

Poplar: A terrible fuel that doesn't burn well and produces a black choking smoke even when seasoned.

Rowan: A good firewood that burns hot and slow.

Rhododendron: Old thick and tough stems burn well.

Robinia (Acacia): Burns slowly, with good heat, but with acrid smoke.

Spruce: A poor firewood that burns too quickly and with too many sparks.

Sycamore: Burns with a good flame, with moderate heat. Useless green.

Sweet Chestnut: Burns when seasoned but tends to spits continuously and excessively.

Thorn: One of the best firewood. Burns slowly, with great heat and little smoke.

Walnut: Low to good value to burning. It a nice aromatic scent.

Wellingtonia: Poor for use as a firewood.

Willow: A poor fire wood that must be dry to use. Even when seasoned, it burns slowly, with little flame. Apt to spark.

Yew: This burns slowly, with fierce heat. The scent is pleasant. Another carving favorite. Note that every part of this plant, except for the fruit contains poisonous taxines. Death to livestock after ingestion of this plant is well documented and here are reported cases of suicides from ingestion of leaves. Sawdust is dangerous if ingested or inhaled. The Romans reported death after ingestion of wine stored in Yew vessels, yet Yew cups, bowls and plates are still very popular - not that this makes them any less poisonous. Taxines are carried in smoke and the safety of using this wood for cooking or heat is questionable.
Firewood
"You can't hit the ball unless you take a swing."
Martin Crane

"As God once said - and I think rightly . . ."
Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery

“Steady Monty. you cant speak to me like that. I'm you boss."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


"Remember gentlemen it is not just France we are fighting for, it's champagne."
Churchill 




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#5
Excellent point Limey, I too watched all the Alone seasons and episodes--most of the time found myself--standing up screaming at the TV "Hey! Dumbass--why you doing that?!!, why you wasting your energy on that?!!...oh my god...no!!!" hahaha almost forgot it is a scripted show  Big Grin

but IMO you are right Limey, I almost never waste time cutting or sawing firewood--the only exception would be when I have to fit the firewood into my shelter (ie: my tipi with fire pit inside) and even then, would most likely have a fire outside the tipi as well--place large logs across the fire outside, and when they burn in half, I bring them in....mostly I do what you mentioned--find standing or leaning dry dead wood and stomp it into manageable pieces to bring inside.....

helpful chart on the firewoods there--thanks!


AOC
"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson

"Buy land- they are not making it anymore"- Mark Twain

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile €”hoping it will eat him last." -Winston Churchill

"Wilderness is in our hearts first and always. All of us can't have a cabin in the mountains. It's the wilderness within we must strive for first."- R. Sullivan
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#6
Here is a very good video on building and sustaining a "long fire" to last through the night.   Fairly easy to build and also a usable method for cooking at the same time.  Obviously different locations and types of wood available would have to be considered.  L.W.





EDIT : It wouldn't play.

Here is the address.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1oQFllCYXw

L.W.
"Always go straight forward, and if you meet the devil, cut him in two and go between the pieces." (William Sturgis, captain, clipper ship, 1830s.)
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#7
Ah good video Leanwolf.
I do not mind the fire going out during the night ,because a smoking or burning fire gives away my position.
I do not want uninvited guests visiting during the night.
In the morning I can easily start the fire again without leaving my sleeping bag.
There is plenty of charcoal, dry remnants of the fire, and a dry base to start a fire very easily.
As I am particularly agile I can heat water, make a cup of coffee, fry eggs and bacon, and sing Oh what a beautiful morning, without even leaving my sleeping bag.
To have a pee, I crawl in my sleeping bag like a caterpillar away from the fire, have a pee sideways by pulling my sleeping bag down a bit. then crawl back
It's what being a super tramp is all about.

Big Grin
"You can't hit the ball unless you take a swing."
Martin Crane

"As God once said - and I think rightly . . ."
Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery

“Steady Monty. you cant speak to me like that. I'm you boss."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


"Remember gentlemen it is not just France we are fighting for, it's champagne."
Churchill 




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#8
I wondered the same thing.

When I camp with other folks, there is a near compulsive desire to buck and split wood. I participate in the activity just to prevent being viewed as “the lazy one” in camp.
{  "Trust in Jesus but carry a sixgun in the bathroom."€  Phantom  }
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#9
(12-11-2017, 06:46 PM)alukban Wrote: I wondered the same thing.

When I camp with other folks, there is a near compulsive desire to buck and split wood. I participate in the activity just to prevent being viewed as “the lazy one” in camp.

ahh we're alike.. I do similar stuff when with strangers to fit in and avoid making waves...

That's why I like camping out with my good friends, cuz then I can just be up front and say--no, no-I've got a better way Big Grin  yall can waste your time of you want...but I am not gonna...they always listen to me, as camping knowledge....is my "thing"


AOC
"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson

"Buy land- they are not making it anymore"- Mark Twain

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile €”hoping it will eat him last." -Winston Churchill

"Wilderness is in our hearts first and always. All of us can't have a cabin in the mountains. It's the wilderness within we must strive for first."- R. Sullivan
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#10
(12-11-2017, 07:00 AM)Limey Pete Wrote: To have a pee, I crawl in my sleeping bag like a caterpillar away from the fire, have a pee sideways by pulling my sleeping bag down a bit. then crawl back

Peter,

I find that comment confusing...do you just pee in your bag?....pee on the ground beside your bag?...or pee in a container?......

I am not as nimble as you...I can only light the heater from my sleeping bag...because of my ...err...attributes...I must exit my sleeping bag and utilize a wide mouth container to empty my bladder without leaving my tent....if camping in the open or with mixed company, I usually get up and avail myself of the nearest cover in order to empty my bladder.....

DD
Some mornings it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps!


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#11
(12-11-2017, 06:46 PM)alukban Wrote: When I camp with other folks, there is a near compulsive desire to buck and split wood.

Some years ago I heard a story; I have no idea if it is true or even where I heard it... but it seems about right.  A group of couples went into the backcountry to do a little camping.  After choosing a camp site the menfolk all charged off downhill in search of firewood and left the womenfolk to "set up camp".  A few hours later the men struggled up hill back into camp, all worn out from carrying loads of bucked and split green wood...  only to find the women sitting around a cheery fire enjoying the great outdoors.  It seems the women watched the men head downhill, and decided to go uphill.  They found some standing dead trees, broke off a bunch of dead wood and dragged it downhill into camp, where they broke it into campfire sized chunks and built a fire.

Apparently the men were kinda quiet about all that...
Wally
Of all the things I've lost, I think I miss my mind the most.
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#12
(12-12-2017, 10:41 PM)ddennis2 Wrote:
(12-11-2017, 07:00 AM)Limey Pete Wrote: To have a pee, I crawl in my sleeping bag like a caterpillar away from the fire, have a pee sideways by pulling my sleeping bag down a bit. then crawl back

Peter,

I find that comment confusing...do you just pee in your bag?....pee on the ground beside your bag?...or pee in a container?......

I am not as nimble as you...I can only light the heater from my sleeping bag...because of my ...err...attributes...I must exit my sleeping bag and utilize a wide mouth container to empty my bladder without leaving my tent....if camping in the open or with mixed company, I usually get up and avail myself of the nearest cover in order to empty my bladder.....

DD

Ah you see Dennis, you use a tent. I never use a tent. I might use a lean-to tarp . . . or whittle up a log cabin with my Swiss army knife . . .
And I do not pee on the ground just besides my sleeping bag because I am bound to put my elbow into it for some reason, when I forget that I peed there.
Alas it is a recurring problem on icy mornings in the wilderness. I wonder how Davy Crockett managed.
"You can't hit the ball unless you take a swing."
Martin Crane

"As God once said - and I think rightly . . ."
Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery

“Steady Monty. you cant speak to me like that. I'm you boss."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


"Remember gentlemen it is not just France we are fighting for, it's champagne."
Churchill 




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#13
(12-12-2017, 11:34 PM)wmerrin Wrote:
(12-11-2017, 06:46 PM)alukban Wrote: When I camp with other folks, there is a near compulsive desire to buck and split wood.

Some years ago I heard a story; I have no idea if it is true or even where I heard it... but it seems about right.  A group of couples went into the backcountry to do a little camping.  After choosing a camp site the menfolk all charged off downhill in search of firewood and left the womenfolk to "set up camp".  A few hours later the men struggled up hill back into camp, all worn out from  carrying loads of bucked and split green wood...  only to find the women sitting around a cheery fire enjoying the great outdoors.  It seems the women watched the men head downhill, and decided to go uphill.  They found some standing dead trees, broke off a bunch of dead wood and dragged it downhill into camp, where they broke it into campfire sized chunks and built a fire.

Apparently the men were kinda quiet about all that...
Wally
Ah I always learn something new on this forum AOC.
It is better to collect firewood up the hill. 
Of course. Collecting up the hill means that it is easier to drag it down the hill to the campsite.
Thank you AOC.
Here is a handy poem to chant when collecting firewood.


Hardwoods burn well and slow,
Ash, beech, oak and holly glow.
Softwoods flare up quick and fine,
Birch, fir, hazel, larch and pine.
Elm and willow you'll regret,
   And chestnut green and sycamore wet
Birch and fir logs burn too fast 
Blaze up bright and do not last. 
Poplar gives a bitter smoke, 
Fills your eyes and makes you choke. 
Flames from larch will shoot up high,
And dangerously the sparks will fly....
Holly logs will burn like wax 
You could burn them green 
Elm logs burn like smouldering flax 
With no flame to be seen 
But Ash wood wet or Ash wood dry 
A king shall warm his slippers by.
 
"You can't hit the ball unless you take a swing."
Martin Crane

"As God once said - and I think rightly . . ."
Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery

“Steady Monty. you cant speak to me like that. I'm you boss."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


"Remember gentlemen it is not just France we are fighting for, it's champagne."
Churchill 




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#14
Ron Hood taught me to use a large ziploc bag to empty my bladder. I could do that without leaving the bag or shelter on freezing nights. He also told me to leave it outside the shelter and tell folks it was Kool-Aid.

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#15
With apologies to Frank Zappa:

Watch out where the Limey goes, and don't you eat that yellow snow......

DD
Some mornings it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps!


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