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Author Topic: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!  (Read 29620 times)

Offline pake

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2011, 12:02:01 pm »
planB,

Hi, I agree with you 100%. And no amount of talk gets you there. You mentioned having a plan. I assume you also mean practicing the plan because that is how you will become able to execute it properly.

I am among other things, a First Responder.  I can't explain more enthusiastically than to say, Plan, Practice, Plan, Practice, Plan, Practice. As you have said, frequently in the rush of adrenaline that accompanies any emergency, but particularly one in which we personally are involved, your thinking can become "mushy". That reality is exacerbated when we are injured or incapacitated in any way. We are continually taught, "Make a Plan, Work the Plan".

Rely on your training.

pake

Offline The North Runner

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2011, 06:23:12 pm »
I have had this kit for a long time now, I haven't needed to use it yet, but I will always have it if i need it. It is a shoulder harness for a hand gun. I removed the scabbard for the gun, and fastened a Spyderco Moran to it. This goes under my left arm. On the other side I installed a pouch, in this is my kit in a tincan.
MATCHES
FERRO ROD
BABY BIC
PIECE OF HANDWARMER CHARCOAL
SMALL COMPASS
FISHING LINE, HOOKS, SINKERS,PLASTIC WORM
A FEW BANDAIDS
2 NEEDLES. This all goes in the tin and is sealed with tape.
SNARE WIRE
SAK. These slip in the pouch. I wear this under my clothes,and don't even notice it there. So if I go through the ice  or dump the canoe, possibly losing my pack. It is next to impossible or maybe impossible to lose this kit.




Wade

Offline pinecones

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2011, 02:24:32 pm »
A timely article from today's Toronto Star online:

The 1-10-1 Rule:

What happens if you fall in and no one is around? The 1/10/1 rule, a simple set of guidelines that could save your life if you take a dunk in icy (the icy part is key) cold water.

1:  If you fall in, you have one minute to regulate your breath and during that time try to scramble out onto safe ice, get back to your footprints and hold on to that ice.

10: Then you have 10 minutes of meaningful muscle movement. That is a nice way of way of saying you have about 10 minutes, likely less, before your arms and legs become almost useless.

In icy cold water, moving quickly will actually whisk heat away from your body faster than if you remain somewhat still. So thrashing around to keep warm, like you would on land, is not a good idea. If you can, try to get into a ball-type shape to keep heat in your core.

1: Then you have about one hour before hypothermia kicks in. That is about the time when you will likely lose consciousness.

http://thestar.blogs.com/emily/surviving-in-cold-water/

So, it comes down to what can you accomplish in that 10 minutes.

Offline deepwoods

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2011, 05:49:46 pm »
Here's the link to a great bit of video by the Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht referenced in the Toronto Star article-
http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/kinrec/about/giesbrecht_faqs.html

Scroll down to Video files and click on the Cold Water Survival link. Good stuff!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 05:54:38 pm by deepwoods »

Offline mbiraman

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2011, 03:29:32 pm »
This has been a good thread. As someone who is a new member i just saw it because Hoop brought it back up recently. Thanks to Hoop for bringing it up originally, to Johan? from sweden to focus the conversation more on the water immersion reality. To Pake for his experiences when paddling and Plan/practice approach and general common sense.
 Over the last couple of yrs, in my late fifties, i've gotten back into hiking,paddling and more recently focusing on winter camping. Because i do almost everything solo  i had to think about everything from a "what if" point of view. I've always been a cautious, safety minded person  but that doesn't mean you can't get in trouble because of what you don't know and its happened to me  a few times yrs ago. I'm on the West Coast Paddlers forum and the topic of ending up in the water and losing your kayak and gear came up. People started talking about a survival bag attached to yourself so you would have what you need if and when you get on land. Number one was a change of cloths, fallowed by food/ fire / shelter. Since i started hiking more seriously i've carried a day pack with a change of cloths in a dry bag, the essentials for making fire quickly. 1-2 days worth of food, Medical Adventures bivy, small first aid kit, etc. This goes with me at all times no matter how short the hike. It weighs about 8lbs and when i go kayaking, it , along with other survival gear in another bag ,goes in the boat. This yr i'll be having a bag on the deck with float line attached to me so if the worst happens i'll at least have that. One thing i didn't read here was whether some folks would change their approach to winter camping such as if your solo you would travel on land only, if your with others you venture onto the frozen lakes and rivers. In my area there is no travel by water in the winter as its doesn't get cold enough for most of the lakes to freeze so i'll be on land. In fact its hard to travel with sled by land here also as almost nothing is flat but i do have a few places scoped out for short overnight hikes by sled. Anyway whether paddling,hiking,winter camping, many things overlap and there's lots to learn.
thanks
bill
"Mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

Offline PackRat

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2011, 05:26:53 pm »
Just make sure you keep your skates on when going through the ice!  :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RyUf7r_9yNs#at=26

Offline mbiraman

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2011, 09:09:22 pm »
I think the vodka was the key.
"Mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

Offline crustysnow

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2011, 08:43:47 am »
Attitude, another very important player in this.  Having a 'plan' and practicing have a role with attitude as well.

On the lighter side, if we could get Steam Bender to build a tobbogan of Fatwood, or at least have a 'breakaway' tailsection about 2-3 ft. long piled with fatwood shavings, birch bark, browned pine needles and birch twigs, with 2 road flares mounted within, connected to a firing/ingnition cord that you could pull without needing the use of your fingers to peel any tape apart, and maybe one of those instant pop-up hunting blinds with a Lil' Buddy piezo ignition heater inside.  Hmmmmmm, I like coffee.;-D

Offline bark-eater

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2011, 08:27:18 am »

when Im out on the ice by my lonesome, I've got self rescue spikes rigged and I carry a marine flare.  I think I will add a space blanket and a can of sterno to my carry gear. That way I can step into a one man sauna immediately, a buy a little thinking time before acting.

Offline Moondog55

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2011, 04:29:21 am »
Check out this idea mate ( I like the idea so I am promoting it by multiple postings of the link )

http://www.solartran.com.au/radiant-heat-reflecting-bush-fire-protection.htm

Turn the thing inside out so the main reflective layer is to the inside and you have a wearable survival suit, unfortunately it doesn't pack down as small as I'd like but using a couple of Mylar blankets to make on would get the small packed size you need for a belt or pocket kit.

But from other posts here I am under the impression that time to think is in very short supply and better to act immediately and to save the thinking for after you have warmed up

Offline rbinhood

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2011, 10:42:35 am »
My own experience. Son was leaving to go to college and I thought it might be nice to take a father/son canoe trip before he left. We had paddled for about 4 hours and it was getting dark. Temps were about 60 deg. F. We were looking for a place to put ashore and camp for the night. We hit a drop on the river below a bridge that was very sharp, and at the bottom there were several large boulders. The canoe hit one, and in a second we were both overboard in water that was actually slightly warmer than the air. Soaked from head to toe, we gathered up our gear ( I lost a nice rod/real combo). We paddled for a few hundred yards and found a flat place to land. By then, my son was beginning to shake.

Our first course of business was to build a fire. We tore birch bark off of several trees and gathered up some kindling. Fortunately, I had a lighter, and fortunately, we were not fighting sub zero conditions. However, it is important to note that more people die of hypothermia at 60 degrees in wet clothes than any other temperature. My son's condition was deteriorating by the minute.
 
I got a fire going, and we both got out of our wet clothes. Fortunately, I had packed a tent and sleeping bags in a dry bag. We set the tent up as we huddled around the fire and then turned in for the night. Next day was a short paddle in damp clothes to the take-out.

Moral- You can die even in moderate temps if you don't have warm dry clothes and a way to start a fire.
"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."
Henry David  Thoreau

Offline red pine

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2011, 09:14:11 am »
There's nothing like experience to understand a situation....I suggest that if you really want to know what is required, get out there now, cut a hole, immerse yourself, and see if you can get out.  (Of course, you will have safety backup and a warm place nearby.)

Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht has at least 3 excellent videos that demonstrate this reality. 

My own experience of falling though the ice taught me that clothing is far more important than fire.  No cotton.  Wool, silk, or poly-pro next to the skin, and a wool layer on top.

The first two times I went in, it was just to my waist, thanks to a 10 foot pole I carry when I'm worried about the ice.  Breaking through is very fast, the pole automatically bridges the hole and gives something to hold on to to pull myself out.
While walking the kilometre home, my outer wool pants froze solid, making an excellent wind break.  Inside, I was wet but warm.

The last time I went through the ice (at -20 C), it was too thin for the pole to hold, so I got wet up to my neck.  I was not able to self-rescue.  Lucky for me I was close enough to home to be heard.  I was in the water for maybe 20 minutes or more.  Once out, I was just able to walk 300 meters to the house.

Would I have been able to light a match?  Probably not. 

A better plan would be one of those self-heating pads...either the disposable ones or one of the gel packs.  Press a tab inside, and it heats up.  Enough to warm the hands and more.  Meanwhile, the wet clothes you are wearing should be warming up next to the skin.  Now you have time to seek warmth in some other way. 

The point is, don't focus on fire...

Offline bark-eater

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2011, 09:20:44 am »
The survival blanket and sterno came to mind, while I visualised crawling out of a puddle 2000 yards from the nearest  tree.

Offline James Huffaker

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2012, 01:51:23 am »
Bump

Anything new? Come to any conclusions?

This should be stickied.

Regards, Jim

Offline HOOP

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Re: Falling through the ice: MUST light a fire!
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2012, 11:00:56 am »
Good bump Jim.  Its that time to start thinking about this again before the first travel ice.  I have alot of time here, as our first ice won't be ready until end of December, but its amazing how time flies. 

I still don't have my kit "finished".  (I am not sure it will even be finished).  I promised I would get my kit finished and make a video, and add some main content to our e-book here, adding wisdom from the memebrs inputs, but I have been slacking.  Time for me to get on that.
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.