Let's Play WFF Survivor!!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by chadk, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    Dismissing some Deus Ex Machina miracle (angels bearing fire, suddenly really warm weather, or well-equipped and benificent passersby), he's toast (or unless George gets to him soon enough).

    The only way you escape stage 2 hypothermia is by getting warm, unless you're very lucky, and he's past the point where he can keep warm by exercising, doing isometrics, etc., because his brain can no longer control his body. With all of the blood being diverted to the vital core organs, he has lost the ability to coordinate the movement of his arms and legs. He can't stand, walk, grasp, lift, or even think in any kind of a straight line.

    Or maybe he has a deep will to survive, and can rally his sh*t together. That really counts for a lot, and it's down deep, but if you can tap it, it's worth more than all the gear in the world. Give up, quit fighting, and you're dead. You might be be dead anyway, but it's better to go out kicking, unless it's the place you've chosen.

    I think Fred's not long for this world.

    C'mon, Chad, surprise me.

    This is a great thread, a real learning experience!
     
  2. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Next time you clean your drier lint screen, save the lint ball for your emergency tinder. That stuff burns nice and will pack into your pocket survival kit easily.
     
  3. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I need to look into this more. But I think once you start showing signs of hypothermia, exercise makes the issue worse. Your body is shutting down and working hard to keep the vitals\core warm. Your arms and legs are low priority and the blood flow will slow to them. They will get COLD, but the focus is on the vitals. If you start moving around, you start pumping the colder blood in the extremeties into the core areas and defeating your bodies natural survival tactics. Best to huddle up like a babie, sheltered, and as dry as possible. Keep the focus of any extra insulation you have on your head and core body area. Cover your head if you can and keep breathing your own (or someone elses if possible) warm and moist breath.
     
  4. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

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    Interesting survival fact from WWII. The merchant ship North Atlantic run from USA to Europe was getting torpedoed bigtime by the U-boat wolfpacks. Survival rate of older men was far higher than survival rate of younger men when in the freezing seas. Counterintuitive because the younger men were in far better physical shape. The big brains of the time analyzed and studied this phenomenon. Conclusion. "The will to survive".

    And, by the way, the older men were all average merchant seamen pulled into the war effort, i.e. not specially trained or educated, just thrown iinto it.

    Willpower can create results that go off the physical scale.


    otter
     
  5. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    That's exactly right if it's advanced hypothermia. I meant that he should have been trying to stay warm with exercise before he got to his current state. Say, as soon as he hauled himself out of the river, wrung out his wet clothes (like many pointed out he should have, but didn't do), gathered wood, scouted the area, built a shelter, and then when everything is done, which has kept him warm from the exertion, doesn't just curl up, but keeps some movement going, unless he has a decent shelter and his space blanket isn't in tatters, and/or a fire to sit next to. Fire is good, and primieval, and made us what we are: the top of the food chain.


    Fred's losing the fire would have killed his psyche. That's where he's gotta rally, and not give up.
     
  6. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    it causes a chemical reaction with the gas that heats it past the flash point
     
  7. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Why would the will to survive be divided by age so clearly? Either way though, the will to suvive is a very powerful tool.
    I wonder if the idea of core temperatures as we've been discussing played into this.

    The longer you struggle (treading water, swimming, moving in general) in icy water, the more you expose your core to the colder blood in the extremities. You are pumping cold blood to your vital organs. The older guys probably stopped stuggling (out of fatigue) earlier. This actually saved them because now the cold blood in their hand, feet, arms, legs was not being pumped as fast through the core areas. That seems to make more sense to me.

    In cold water situations where you are forced to wait it out, you are supposed to huddle up with others or if alone, curl up with your arms around your knees. This keeps the core warmer and you are not pumping the colder blood so fast through it.
     
  8. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

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    Chad -

    Seriously interesting thought. I'll see if I can locate the orginal documentation - although that may not be easy.

    Anyway, get your butt in gear and deliver the denoument! This has been a really good post.


    otter
     
  9. I'm crushed, where is the conclusion???:confused:
     
  10. Sourdoughs

    Sourdoughs -Marc Chapman, icthyoantagonist

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    Only thought I can come up with at this point:

    Fred is screwed if he can't get warm, and he has nothing to get warm with. Sitting there, he's dead. If he can walk, start downstream to find George for help. Put the whistle in his mouth to blow and hope someone finds him (insert Deliverance music here) or hope George hears him. If he makes it to George and George hears him, possibly G can somehow get fuel and fire-making stuff to F across the river. Boyoboy, that's a lot of "if"s.
     
  11. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Keep in mind it is snowing, so the clouds are thick and the night is pitch black. No flashlights. The terrain is rugged. Fred is injured and needs to stay sheltered. Not sure he could go anywhere even if he wanted...
     
  12. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Thanks for the info on the 'space blankets'. Luckily for Fred, his was only a few years old.

    Let us know how your scout troop does. Get those kids in the woods and have contests to see who can get a strong fire going first in wind, rain, snow... I've seen some troop lately that are a bunch of pansies. Mainly because the leaders are afraid (or too lazy or just inexperienced) to take the kids out in anything but warm sunny conditions. And even then, they don't push\challenge the kids.
     
  13. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    [​IMG]

    Here is my ultralight setup I've been using this year on trips where I'm only a mile or less from my truck.

    The sling type bag is great. Better than my chest pack and a 'fanny pack'. I can slide it to the front, get what I need, then slide it around to my back where it stays out of the way until I need it again. It also forces me to keep only a few small\medium fly boxes and tippet spools. With some pockets and such for other essential tools. On my hip I wear a knife and multi-tool. The plastic bottle is clipped to the sling and holds my 'pocket survival kit'. Things like the little emergency blanket, pocket warmers, matches, lighter, first aid stuff, whistle, etc.

    If needed, I'd empty the stuff into my pockets and use the water bottle to melt snow in. You DON'T want to eat snow if you are worried about hypothermia. The icy water quickly cools your core. The little benefit you get from the water is highly outweighed by the dangerous cooling of your core. Find a way to warm the snow\water first. Also, I have water purifying tablets so I can use river\lake water if needed.

    I plan to post a bunch of links to helpful resources when this is over...
     
  14. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Part 4a: The Next Morning

    George has hardly slept a wink. He had a hard time shaking the chill in his bones despite the nice warm sleeping bag. He’s also been worrying about Fred. He figures Fred must be really worried about him since he didn’t show up as planned.

    George rolls over for what seems like the 1,000th time. He notices that he can actually see the top of his tent. He quickly checks his watch. Sure enough, the sun will be rising soon. He puts on his warm clothes and gets some water boiling for a quick cup of coffee and some instant oatmeal. By the time the water is at a full boil, the tent, sleeping bag, and other gear are packed away and re-wrapped in the plastic bags.

    10 minutes later, George is making his way across the river. One oar managed to escape it’s tether, but he had a spare securely strapped to the side. He makes his way carefully but quickly and reaches the other side downstream about 50 yards from where he started.

    He leaves the boat for now, but takes the bags of gear. He has more trouble making his way upstream along the bank today because of the 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground.

    As he reaches the area he knows he saw Fred last, he spots the fire wood and the little shelter. They are covered in a dusting of snow, but mostly protected from above by the thick tree cover at the base of the cedar. Then George realizes something alarming. The wood is not burnt. No sign of any ashes or coals. He calls out to Fred, and then spots the tracks: foot prints leading away from the shelter toward the river…

    ****************

    Part 4b (the final part) coming soon. Sorry, but got things to do...:hmmm:
     
  15. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Thanks for the cool thread Chad!

    I think Fred survived the night and in the morning, went down to the river to look for George. Fred was still shivering badly when we last saw him which is good as it means that his body still had the ability to re-warm itself. He probably couldn’t manage getting his wet cotton off as he was shaking so badly, but he was able to stuff the dry tinder he gathered under his shirt. He wrapped himself in his survival blanket and burrowed into his shelter. Once the wet cotton was away from his skin and the survival blanket stopped the evaporative cooling, he was able to survive the night albeit miserably buried in his shelter. By morning, the shivering was only mild and he was able to stumble to the river to warm up and look for George.

    Had he acted more quickly (as soon as his fire failed), he would have had a more comfortable night. The outside of his waders may have been almost dry. He should have taken off his cotton shirt and wrapped his upper body in the space blanket. Then he should have taken off the waders and fleece pants. If the waders were dry on the outside, he should have turned them inside out and put them back on stuffing some dry tinder into the feet for warmth before pulling them up. He should have wrung out the pants, cut a small hole for his head in the crotch of the fleece pants and put them on as a shirt tucking them down in the waders. Wrapped back in the space blanket, he should have cut off the excess fabric from the legs/sleeves and used one as a hat and one as a hand warmer bag. (He could have used the needle and thread to sew one open end up if he was able at some point) Then he should have gathered all the dry tinder he’d collected for the fire (moss, leaves, duff, etc.) and shoved it down his waders. If he’s able, he should collect more and fill them up. He should (carefully!) cut a small pee hole ‘cause holding it chills you and he’s not going to want to strip if he needs to go. Once he’s ready to burrow into his shelter, he should have wrapped the space blanket over his head and upper body, secured it around himself with his wader belt and then covered himself with as much of his gathered bedding as possible. In the morning, he was cold but he was able to walk down to the river to look for George.

    I’m leaving tonight for my annual winter camping trip at Stevens Pass. I know we’ll be warmer than these 2 guys! Of course, we’ll be a little better prepared… :cool:
     
  16. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    WOW, good thinking :eek: ...now all Fred needs is an old volley ball to name "Wilson" :beer2:
     
  17. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

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    I think we have some serious trouble. George is on the same side of the river as Fred.

    Or is he?

    Gut hunch. Fred was in stage II, and during the night, given his nonexistent level of protection, got worse.

    I'd be betting he set out to cross the river, given his semi-hallucinatory state of mind, to find George.

    This is not good.


    otter
     
  18. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    what if there is no snow when you find yourself in a situation? you might want to add iodine tablets or some other ability to purify water to your kit. just because you are stuck somewhere doesn't mean you should drink river water. giardia can be a pretty crappy thing to experience!

    jason
     
  19. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

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    Iodine doesn't necessarily do giardia. There are a couple of handheld battery powered UV purifiers out on the market, which do. I put UV purifiers behind the reverse osmosis watermakers in the boats I build, and its a bomber combination. If you want to go first class, and want to travel light as possible, you can get a handheld RO unit and then follow it up with the hand held UV unit.


    otter
     
  20. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    good point OTTER! i was just imagining Chadk the week after his ordeal..........:eek: :eek: drinking non purified water

    i don't do iodine cause it tastes nasty and it is old school........ i have an MSR hand held unit but i usually just bring bottled water with me.... this stuff looks better
    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Pro...ngId=-1&addon=664604-695229&ext_cat=undefined

    there are some cool water bottle type units that might work, but not sure if they'd have enough room for all chadk's loot
    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Pro... TRANSPARENT&img=/media/935720.jpg&view=large
    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Pro...ngId=-1&addon=750379-708980&ext_cat=undefined
     

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