I figure a LOT has alredy gone wrong if you need a fire to survive. However gathering a small amount just in case?
So do you ever gather a stash of firewood just in case?
I am guessing 85% so no......................
I will vote first
No (but I might going forward)
Safety and preparation is always my main concern when planning any wilderness hunt. If you’re talking about solo hunts (which I know is how you mostly roll) safety and prep should be your #1 times 10 concern! Especially if we’re talking AK, you can’t hunt the day you fly so yes I’d be gathering wood!
You planning on going to AK this year?
There are survival videos on the subject
If it’s for your attitude and drying socks, it would be nice to have. If you were in a real bind you either get in your bag or start walking.
For a comfort fire it’s a good idea to have a stash of covered wood.
Next I got my headlamp and saw the bottom on he tent had collapsed onto my feet. Getting my sleeping bag wet. I immediatly got up and went outside to, literally, snwflakes 1.5" - 2" in diameter falling fast. My tent was already covered. Fixed tent crawled back in getting another fun wet shower. Set my alarm for every 20 minutes in case I fell asleep so I would tap the tent to make the snow slide off. Meanwhile thinking about no way to start a fire. I doubt if my tent collpased it would rip - my thought was maybe if it collapsed enough and a pole broke it could rip the the tent. The Atko only has 1 pole across the middle and if it broke at the top and ripped my tent now things got really dangerous fast. The stories of that area getting 40" of snow in a couple days at that time a couple years before did not help my nerves. Also the fact that my gear was all somewhat wet was not great.
I ifgured wortse case I was making a lean to with tent pieces and a tarp I had. I also have 3 contrator garbage bags. The lean to with afire MIGHT help - but as mentioned above gathering enough firewood could easily have killed mea lot faster then mother nature just sitting tight with no fire.
I still think the piece of mind would have been worth it - but I think, even in that situation which is about as bad as things get, it is highly doubtful that a fire would have been a lifesaver. Agan keep in mind open fire, not stove, very very very little wood. Even if I had a stash it would last hours then I would need to get more getting colder and wetter and working to keep the fire going.
SS no not this year, unless I draw muskox. Got a good bou, not the monster I was hoping for (and saw) but a good one - no need to go back. Got a good moose 2 years ago. I am out of the AK draws going forward. I LOVE Alaska, and will be back, not sure for what but not likely anytime soon.
Nothing worse than being really cold and wet, and not being able to start a fire!!
On that topic, how many of you have actually tried to start a fire using nothing but what you have in your pack? It's not as easy as some people think!
We paid for an extra gear flight and put 10 lbs of ready to light charcoal in the load. Was nice, especially for cooking sheep on a fork.
Spent 40 hours with the tent poles beating us two nights and one day. The guys the period before us said they hunted one day then spent a week trying to stay alive.
Actually all the things you posted are what internet warriors will tell you to do.
Look up the U.S. Army Ranger re warming technique
So since you don’t have a bathtub up on the hill you need to move to create energy or get in your bag if you have an appropriate bag
Search for this video “How to Survive Hypothermia like a Navy SEAL”
Idaho, 2017. Started it with tampons, and a striker. There was about 3 inches of snow on the ground, outside the grove. Most of that big dead log in the foreground, ended up burnt, by the next morning. Had to stomp out a couple little spot fires.
The premise of this thread asked whether the average hunter would benefit from gathering emergency firewood in the event they may need it. To that extent, I think the obvious answer is "YES". It doesn't ask whether the effort is worth it *after* conditions have gotten severe enough that trying to gather wood and start a fire puts a hunter at risk of hypothermia. It takes only a matter of hours to gather enough wood and prepare a sheltered fire area that could save your life. I don't care where you are. Preparation for unexpected weather is at the top of my list when conditions are conducive to do so. I'm not a navy seal, but that seems obvious to me.
If you have access to unlimited wood and have an established fire. And it’s going before you get too cold. It’s a benefit. That’s a different topic than starting a fire in a heavy conifer forested area to warm your toes during lunch. My bad, I guess I read it differently.
Unfortunately, when we are confronted with situations like this we are limited to what’s in our possession and whatever the environment or circumstances provides!
Talking about firewood above tree line is probably why a lot of people is not commenting on this post!
Don, be thankful that you are alive and learn from this situation!
Look at the situation you were in and think about your equipment and how you could respond differently! More than likely firewood will not be part of the equation! Also, consider minor tweaks to your gear to be better prepared the next time if there is a next time!
Think about how you can keep things dry better and if your sleeping bag does get wet then you have to resort to the gear you have!
If that had been me I would’ve probably gotten up I would’ve put on my clothes then I would put on my Rain suit, try to remain calm, and stay awake!
I have stated here before that in 1985 I got caught above tree line on a sheep hunt in Alaska and had to do just that!
You did but it took are we would not be having this conversation!
If you don't mind me asking, did you know there was a possibility of rain/snow on your hunt? Did you hike thru timbered areas to get to your.camping spot above treeline? How far from timber were you, and was there enough time and decent weather to gather wood before the storms hit?
I would say by no means was I in any real danger, and I had a plb and sat phone, but one more big step the wrong way and it would have been a full time job staying alive.
I hunted that afternoon. Found fresh griz tracks 300 yards away - saw that griz later digging out ground squirrels with a glacier a as backdrop!
Lot's of good points here. I was mostly curious about how many guys gather firewood "just in case".
I was flown in and trees might have well have been on the moon for all purposes. I was at the foo of a glacier with a large river between me and trees. I did have bushes up to 1" in diameter around.
My comment was not made to cast shade on you or your abilities!
Most do not possess the knowledge or confidence to go it alone!
"The longer you take preparing a fire, the faster you will have a fire"