The Only Easy Session, Was Last Session. . .

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A look inside the LEAD2 training course. Fortune Bay’s underlying mission is always to develop strong leaders.   We do this by challenging people to live beyond their limits – always.   By living beyond their limits, they expand those limits and … Continue reading

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The Traveling Man

If you’ve been reading the newsletters and keeping tabs on Facebook, you may have noticed that the Fortune Bay Expedition Team is expanding its ranks. In the last few years, the team has grown tremendously. While we do our best to ensure that we acknowledge all members, leaders, and staff for their achievements, we admit that we have unintentionally neglected to acknowledge one of our own; a loyal member who continues to motivate and encourage fellow team members, has played an important role in the design of the School of Expeditionary Sciences Website and courses, and who has kept watch over expeditions from a far. This is the story of Bob – Frontier Bob.

bob1

Since the beginning, there has always been one. Drawn from the fabric of time and constructed solely from the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water, there is no equal. No one really knows where he came from, or how he got here, just that he has always been there; a shadow stalking the greats throughout history.

For as long as Bob can remember, he has existed. He never questioned the longevity of his life, simply enjoyed every moment to the fullest. He was curious and almost childlike with an obsession to see and touch everything.

Bob always had a strong desire to explore the world. Unfortunately, he was never very good at it. He often found himself miles, if not continents, from his desired location.

Bob recalled an unfortunate incident where he led a woolly mammoth astray. They were destined for an area in what is now referred to as Alaska, but Bob somehow managed to lead the poor beast to an island in the Caribbean instead. “It was a long swim, but I was convinced we were going the right way.” He has yet to encounter another similar creature of its kind.

wooly BobBob’s adventures often began as a result of him seeking out something or someone that he considered to be awesome. This is precisely how he found himself in Australia. Bob had heard rumors of a legendary bushman living in the outback of Australia. Locals told stories of the man wrestling and defeating a crocodile with his bare hands. Although Bob never did encounter the man known as Dundee, he did happen upon an Aboriginal tribe.

Bob instantly gravitated to the Aboriginals. They were painted like he was and so he thought they must be cousins of his. They referred to him by the name “Bil-lin Koor-ee,” which made Bob feel a special connection to the tribe, having been given an Aboriginal name of his own. Since Bob never learned to speak the Kutthung language, he never did learn the true mean of the name Bil-Lin Koor-ee; which loosely translated to “yellow man”.

bob with aboriginals

Bob spent many years living in the Bush. But he lacked the necessary survival skills, so he relied heavily on the Aboriginal people for the basics such as food and water. In exchange for their hospitality, Bob would help with small jobs.

Frontier Bob CanoeOne day Bob was sent to fetch the koo-yuk (fishing canoe) from the shores. He spotted a small crab near the boat and became very excited. He thought, “how happy everyone will be if I returned with food for the tribe!” For an hour he chased the crab through the rocks and sand along the beach, unable to catch it. He decided a surprise attack would be the best method for catching his prey. He hid inside of the boat, with plans to jump out and scare the crab. Unfortunately, a large coconut fell from a tree, knocking Bob unconscious. When he awoke, all he saw was water; no land anywhere in sight!

Bob was lost and alone, but he was never afraid. A part of him was born of water, and therefore he somehow felt safe floating aimlessly with no direction or purpose. He slept most days and spent the nights attempting to count all of the stars in the sky. He could never quite get past 20 though because he always ran out of fingers and toes.

One morning Bob was awoken suddenly by a crash. The boat had struck something fairly large and was taking on water quickly. It was another boat, though this one was much larger and different than his own. It had oars along both sides and an ornate carving of what appeared to be a dragon’s head at the bow. Bob was helped aboard the ship by a handful of men. It was here that he met Lief Erikson and learned to drink like a true Viking.

viking bob

Ok, maybe not a true Viking…but then again, Bob wasn’t exactly known for being able to hold his liquor. It was one such night, belligerent and mumbling something about a purple monkey, that Bob accidentally knocked over and broke the navigational instrument. No one was paying him any attention at the time so he quickly tried to put it back together to hide the evidence. Two weeks later the Viking ship came to rest on a strange and unfamiliar land.

Frontier Bob Rock 2Bob took this opportunity to explore the new lands. He traveled through dense forests, deserts, and swamps. He even ventured high into the mountains and low into the canyons. He had heard about this thing called rappelling (not repelling, which is what you do when you don’t take a shower for two weeks and smell) and thought he would give it a shot.  He quickly realized that one end of the rope should probably be anchored to something. “It was a long fall”.

Bob was a kind-hearted man, always lending a hand to others. But this was not always the case. For a short period of time, dark days fell upon Bob. Having succumbed to greed, he managed to stow away on the ship of the infamous Blackbeard himself (aka Edward Teach), hoping to partake in some of the riches. Fortunately, Blackbeard was more amused than not by the man in the yellow hat and agreed to put him to work as a member of the crew to work off his debt for attempted thievery. Since it was either that or walk the plank over shark-infested waters, Bob had no choice but to accept the proposal.

Bob & Blackbeard

Surprisingly, Bob and Blackbeard became very good friends. Legend tells a much more terrifying story of Blackbeard than the truth. The man Bob knew was a genius, one who loved kittens (he had 5), fishing, and strolling through the harbor markets in disguise. Blackbeard did partake in the act of piracy, he had an image to uphold after all, but he did so only from his enemies, and never actually harmed any of his captives. Bob was the only one ever permitted to refer to him as Eddie.

When Eddie, er Blackbeard, finally decided to retire from the seas, he and Bob parted ways. Bob wrote to his friend often and as soon as he has an address plans to mail the letters.

Bob was and is always looking for adventure and will follow it where ever it may be; even if to Antarctica. When word came that Ernest Shackleton had announced his plans to cross the Antarctic from sea to sea, Bob was first to sign up as a crew member for the expedition. He was ecstatic to be one of the few to have traveled to the Antarctic.

bob w-Shackleton

When asked about the expedition to the Antarctic, Bob responded with “it was cold.” It was so cold in fact, one frigid and windy night, the waters froze around the ship. The ship became trapped in the ice and most of the crew, Bob included, were forced to make their way to shore.

Many of the crew were distressed by the misfortune, but Bob remained positive. He took the opportunity to practice his photography skills. Ed Wardel, the cameraman accompanying the expedition, was not quite as enthusiastic when it came to sharing his camera. Though between the two of them, they did managed to capture some great shots. The crew, and Bob, eventually made their way back safely to the mainland.

firefighter bobBob has always been known for his non-traditional wilderness skills. Bob’s ability to make fire is unprecedented; controlling it is unfortunately another story. Yellowstone Park, for example, was once home to one such fire. Bob was strolling through the park one cold winter day and decided to build a large fire to keep warm. The fire was so large that it spread quickly out of control burning hundreds of thousands of acres in its path. Bob joined up with the firefighters attempting to control the flames, but in was hard work having only a bucket at his disposal. In the end, only a snow storm was able to finally help the raging fire to burn out.

One day, Bob was awoken suddenly from a deep sleep. A large item had fallen on him during the night. He quickly realized that the American flag hanging on the wall behind him was the culprit. It was at that point that Bob decided he was going to join the Army. Bob thought it would be a fun way to travel the world and meet new people. Army life was tough for Bob, it wasn’t exactly the vacation he was expecting. It was here he met a young man named Charles, though many referred to him as Pathfinder (due to his rank and ability to always find the way).

Bob admits he didn’t care for Pathfinder the first time they met. He was young, mischievous, and it really annoyed him that Pathfinder kept stealing his stuffed purple monkey.  The two spent only a few short weeks together sometime in 1993 before Bob was transferred to Germany. He was stationed here for the remainder of his service.

Bobmeetspathfinder

A few years later,  Bob found himself wandering the streets of Lowell, Michigan. He had just finished hiking a section of the North Country Trail and was in search of a good hot meal. He wandered into a small pub and immediately heard a familiar voice. He could not help but listen in on the conversation.

“Man I can’t believe some of the adventures you have!”, one of the men stated. “I wish I could do stuff like that, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

imageedit_27_7932414587“Come with me” the man with the familiar voice stated. “I’ll teach you how.” Although the man was not speaking directly to him, Bob thought to himself, “this is it! Finally I can explore and learn with the best of them!”

Excited about his new found potential for adventure, Bob started to approach the man but instead stopped dead in his tracks. Sitting at the table sat Pathfinder! After hours of reminiscing, Pathfinder convinced Bob to join the merry band of misfits that he was referring to as Fortune Bay Expeditionary Team. Bob was skeptical at first but figured “what the hell, this in itself might turn out to be an adventure.”

Throughout the years, Bob became an integral part of Fortune Bay Expedition Team. He was responsible for the removal of the “ary” from the “Expeditionary” in the Fortune Bay name and even helped Pathfinder to push his expeditions farther. Many of the extreme expeditions lead by Pathfinder were the direct result of Bob’s influence. Bob even earned the nickname “Frontier Bob” because of his earlier travels and exploits.

Bob on expedition

Bob ventured out on almost every expedition, though he mostly kept to himself. In 2014, Pathfinder convinced him to participate in a promotional video for the team (there was whiskey involved). Bob had so much fun making the video that he volunteered to be the spokesman for the team. And the rest is history.

Though we don’t recommend following a drunken man at the pub who encourages you to “come with him,” we are grateful that Frontier Bob chose to join us on our adventures and hope you will too!

~Robin “Killer Bee” Hutsko

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Do you know your compass? Test your knowledge.

Proper Compass PhotoWell, everyone is doing it. Using the GPS (Global Positioning System) to find their way around the wilderness. I do it. As a society, we spend billions of dollars on various GPS systems so we can make our lives easier. Professionals know that while the GPS is cool and all, the map and compass still offer greater navigation accuracy and much more reliability.

The key to using any navigation system is understand how it works on a basic level. Sure, we can shoot azimuths, follow terrain using a map, but do we really understand how it works? It is my experience, that most who venture out, have a poor understanding of the science behind the system they use.

With that in mind, let’s explore the compass.

The compass represents (still today) one of the most popular ways of finding magnetic north. The science behind the compass is truly remarkable. The magnetic compass is inexpensive, durable, dependable, doesn’t need a power source and is very easy to use. But do you really understand how it works? Let’s find out.

earthformationFirst, some background. . . Over 4.5 billion years ago, stuff exploded. Then, the debris of a huge nebula of stars formed earth. The non-burnable nuclear ash from the stars, heavy with particles of iron, nickel and cobalt all sank to the earth’s core. The ferromagnetic elements have electrons in their outer shell that spin, creating magnetic moments that are not cancelled.

Since then, the Earth has created heat from ongoing radioactive decay resulting in a molten core. The motion of these molten elements creates the earth’s magnetic field which extends a few thousand miles into space. This is the magnetic field we use to navigate.

This “Magnetosphere” protects the ozone from solar winds and keeps solar flares and dangerous radiation from extinguishing life.

So, the earth is actually made up of several “dipolar” magnets that are 90% of the Earth’s magnetic field. (Polar Bears are named after magnets!)

So Anyway, how well do you know your compass? Here we go. . . 

The magnetic needle in a compass points to magnetic north.

NOPE!

The magnetic needle of a compass aligns itself with the Earth’s Local Magnetic field and not to any single point.  This field varies a whole bunch across the Earth in intensity and orientation, and the compass actually points to the sum of the effects of many giant magnets at your location.  So, your compass aligns with the magnetic lines of force.  These are called Isogonic lines.

The magnetic needle is “attracted” to the magnetic north pole.

No. . .

If you think about that for a minute, that would mean the magnetic north pole would have to be awesomely strong to attract a little compass magnet in the southern US.   So strong, in fact, ships would get dragged over miles of open ocean, not to mention all the other magnets and metals objects flying north like a flocks of disorganized birds.

The magnetic north pole is stationary.

Not at all.

Earth_Magnetic_Field_Declination_from_1590_to_1990Well, most of us probably know this, but the earth’s magma is a swirling substratum that is constantly on the move.   Magnetic north is currently heading towards Russia at 65 km per year (a little over 40 miles). 

The magnetic north pole will always be in the north.

I’m sorry. . . that is incorrect (but we have a wonderful consolation prize).

The earth’s magnetic field actually reverses a lot.  Reversals happen at apparently random intervals, ranging less than 100,000 years to as much as 50 million years.  The last time it happened, was 750,000 years ago.

There are three “norths” – Grid, True and Magnetic.

Not exactly, there is a fourth

It is called the “Geomagnetic North”.  Which is the north end of the axis in the magnetosphere which extends into space.  It is the center of the region where the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) can be seen.

We correct our compasses for “Magnetic Declination”.

Nope. . . we actually don’t.

We (including me) tend to use the term “magnetic declination” (or magnetic variation) when correcting grid lines taken from a map to a compass, or vice-versa.  Actually, magnetic declination is the difference between true north and the horizontal trace of the local magnetic field and that is the reference we use with most USGS maps.

True north is is usually used on a “Global scale” and does not reflect the grid lines on a regional map.  Global maps project large areas of a curved surface onto a flat surface. However, a level of spatial distortion is caused across a relatively small area of the earth’s surface, such as a USGS quadrangle map.  Because this distortion is unacceptable to map_magnetic_declinationnavigators, we have developed our own local rectangular grid system (such as UTM) to reduce that distortion.  Consequently, the grid lines of maps do not point to true north.  They, instead, become “grid north”.

So as a navigator, we have to adjust for the difference between grid north and magnetic north when converting between magnetic and grid bearings.  This angle between magnetic and grid meridians is called “Grid Magnetic Angle”, “grid variation”, or “grivation”, NOT “magnetic declination”.

What does it all mean?

Well . . . for practicality’s sake, not a lot, but the more you know. . . 

So yeah – kind of interesting, eh.  The good news, we don’t have to necessarily know all this or do all the calculations – most mapmakers do it for us.   And the information is usually printed on a map.

When the batteries have died, or your GPS has been jammed, spoofed or is miscalculating due to refraction, or when you GPS just can’t catch ephemeris, you can reach into your pack and pull out a very advanced and one of the most reliable pieces of gear you have. . . your compass.

Thanks for taking the time to “Go Farther” with your knowledge.

Interested in learning more of this stuff?  Become a Guild Member of the team for access to a whole website of lessons.  

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Arthur M. Anderson Freed from Lake Ice

risley-anderson2-21-15

The Arthur M. Anderson and Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Riley

2/22 – Noon update – The CCGS Samuel Risley and Anderson are underway off Ashtabula. Ice conditions remain difficult and the Anderson has become stopped at times. The CCGS Griffon is off Long Point and should be turning for Nanticoke shortly after 1 p.m. Algocanada is located in the channel leading to Naticoke while fleetmate Algosea is docked in port.

AndersonandRiley

CCGC Riley escorts the Arthur M. Anderson

andersonstern

View of the Arthur M. Anderson’s stern from the CCGC Riley.

 

10 a.m. update – Sunday morning the Risley and Anderson remain stopped about 7 miles North West of Conneaut while the Griffon is en route to Nanticoke to escort the Algosea to the Detroit River.

The USCG Bristol Bay has departed Cleveland heading for Detroit and scheduled maintenance period. The USCG Neah Bay is expected to return to icebreaking service Monday after completing a planned maintenance period in Cleveland.

ccgonice2-15

Tactical Consult at Sea.

 

Original report – After waiting to move since Tuesday, the Arthur M. Anderson was underway behind the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon Saturday night leaving the ice fields off Conneaut behind. They met up with the Samuel Risley and stopped about 7 miles North West of Conneaut. It is unknown if the vessel are stopped for the night or some kind of repairs.

The Samuel Risley will escort the Anderson to the Detroit area, which could take about 24 hours depending on the ice conditions. The Griffon will head to Nanticoke, Ontario for more icebreaking activity to assist commercial shipping.

The Griffon assisted U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay Friday when the Bristol Bay was attempting to enter Ashtabula, due to extreme ridging at the entrance, Griffon proceeded with Bristol Bay to Cleveland to ensure their safe arrival. The U.S. and Canada have a strong ice-breaking partnership and this winter both Coast Guards have been working tirelessly under very challenging conditions, to assist commercial ships through the heavy ice on the Great Lakes and connecting waterways.

BoatNerd, Canadian Coast Guard

 

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Arthur M. Anderson stuck in Great Lakes Ice

UPDATENoon, Sunday, February 22, 2015 – The Arthur M. Anderson is moving again.  Destination Detroit, Michigan.  More info and pictures here.

CONNEAUT, Ohio- Coast Guard crews are working to free a ship that has been stuck in ice on Lake Erie for days. The Arthur M. Anderson was headed to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and stopped moving near Conneaut Harbor.  The freighter is on the 16th day of what would normally be a two and a half day trip. Keeping in good spirits, the crew on the Anderson has changed their AIS destination to “Funny Farm.”

arthur anderson 2

U.S. Coast Guard said its ice-breaking tug, the Bristol Bay, has struggled to get to the stranded vessel, fighting through 8 to 10 feet of ice. It has been outside of Ashtabula for several days. “When ice freezes just in normal conditions, it’s a flat sheet. But what we’re seeing in Ashtabula and Conneaut are called wind rows, and that’s when ice breaks and is pushed on top of one another and then it gets really thick,” Lt. Davey Connor said.

Progress has been so slow for the crew of the Bristol Bay that the Coast Guard delivered 100 pounds of food using a rescue basket Thursday night. The Bristol Bay is heading back to Cleveland to wait for assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard’s 234-foot icebreaking ship. Once the route to Cleveland is cleared, the two ice-breakers will return to Conneaut to free the Anderson.

arthur anderson 2/21 – Lake Erie - 5:30 p.m. update - The Griffon created a track north of the Arthur M Anderson and was breaking out around the vessel by 4:30 p.m. The Samuel Risley is about 30 miles to the north west and should arrive this evening. Both Coast Guard ships will work on freeing the Anderson and hope to see the Anderson underway Sunday morning.

Once the Anderson is freed, the Samuel Risley will escort the Anderson to the Detroit area, which could take about 24 hours depending on the ice conditions. The Griffon will head to Nanticoke, Ontario for more icebreaking activity to assist commercial shipping.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon assisted U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay yesterday when the Bristol Bay was attempting to enter Ashtabula, due to extreme ridging at the entrance, Griffon proceeded with Bristol Bay to Cleveland to ensure their safe arrival. The U.S. and Canada have a strong ice-breaking partnership and this winter both Coast Guards have been working tirelessly under very challenging conditions, to assist commercial ships through the heavy ice on the Great Lakes and connecting waterways. Canadian Coast Guard.

Anderson AIS

Anderson’s AIS destination – “Funny Farm”. AIS is a vessel’s “Automatic Identification System”. You can track the Arthur M Anderson here – http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-80.62013/centery:42.03277/zoom:8/mmsi:366972020/shipid:431088

 

8 a.m. update - The USCG Bristol Bay arrived in Cleveland about 12:30 a.m. and tied up for fuel and supplies. She is expected to depart Cleveland and return to Detroit for a schedule maintenance period. The CCGS Griffon assisted the Bristol Bay into Cleveland and departed about 12:30 heading east through the heavy ice to free the Arthur M. Anderson off Conneaut.

The CCGS Samuel Risley entered Lake Erie and stopped for the night off Colchester about 2 a.m. The Risley was back underway at 6 a.m. heading for the Anderson. The Griffon made steady progress overnight before stopping at 6 a.m. about 16 miles West of the Anderson. The Risley and Griffon are expected to free the Anderson and then escort the vessel back through Lake Erie.

Original Report: The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon arrived off Ashtabula before noon Friday to assist the USCG Bristol Bay to Cleveland, conditions at Ashtabula were too difficult to make entry possible with the fuel available on the Bristol Bay. The Griffon and Bristol Bay spent the day backing and ramming through the ice arriving off Cleveland about 11 p.m.

By midnight the Griffon was working through the heaviest ice near the Cleveland harbor entrance. All icebreakers are expected to return to the Arthur M. Anderson who remains stuck off Conneaut, Ohio. Winds had shifted to the South on Friday and this should relieve some of the pressure on the southern shore of Lake Erie.

After the extensive delays and severe ice conditions the Anderson will likely skip the last trip and head for lay-up in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley began working with the Peter R. Cresswell Friday morning making slow progress on the lower St. Clair River. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock arrived downbound about 2 p.m. to assist.

The icebreakers worked closely alongside the Cresswell and cleared the St. Clair Cutoff Channel about 5 p.m. The escort continued across Lake St. Clair reaching the upper Detroit River at 7:45 p.m. The Hollyhock stopped for the night in the Belle Isle Anchorage to trouble shoot a systems error while the Risley assisted the Cresswell into Detroit before heading downbound for Lake Erie about 11 p.m.

Story: Courtesy Boat Nerd

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Which way do I go? Clarifying Navigation Terms

Heading, Course, and Bearing.  These terms are tossed about, often incorrectly, leaving the uninitiated with a confusing array of meanings and intentions.   So, let’s clarify the meanings of these terms to help clear up confusion.

directions

Heading –  The heading is the angle between the direction in which the vehicle’s nose is pointing.  It isn’t necessarily the direction the vehicle is travelling, just where it is facing.

Course –  The course is the direction the vehicle is actually travelling over the land, sea or air.

Bearing –  A Bearing is simply the direction to a certain point, in any direction.

To illustrate the point, check out the animation below.

course-heading-bearing

Of course, in navigation, these terms are normally relative to magnetic north when referring to compass readings.  They may also be relative to true or grid north when making reference on a map.  But, we are not done – there is also the situation where we use these terms relative to the vehicle.   “We have a zodiac bearing at us from 4 o’clock”, for instance is an example of bearing reference to heading.

Now, it doesn’t end here.  There are many other terms in navigation.  Their definition might be different according to their application on the ground, in the air, or at sea.  There is “course made good, track, route, course to steer, tracking angle, cross track error” and many other terms.  But, we will get to those in a later post.

Until next time. . . “Go Father”.

 

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Ten Essential Systems – (Not Items)

mountaineers bookThe point of the Ten Essentials list (developed by The Mountaineers, with origins in the climbing course taught by the Club since the 1930s) has always been to help answer two basic questions: First, can you respond positively to an accident or emergency? Second, can you safely spend a night—or more—out? The list has evolved over time from a list of individual items to a list of functional systems; the updated Ten Essential Systems list is included in Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, 8th Edition.

Ten Essentials: The Classic List
•Map
•Compass
•Sunglasses and sunscreen
•Extra clothing
•Headlamp/flashlight
•First-aid supplies
•Firestarter
•Matches
•Knife
•Extra food

Ten Essential Systems
• Navigation (map & compass)
•Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
•Insulation (extra clothing)
•Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
•First-aid supplies
•Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
•Repair kit and tools
•Nutrition (extra food)
•Hydration (extra water)
•Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)

1. Navigation
Always carry a detailed topographic map of the area you are visiting, and place it in a protective case or plastic covering. Always carry a compass. Climbers may also choose to carry other navigational tools such as an altimeter or global positioning system (GPS) receiver; other aids include route markers, route descriptions, and other types of maps or photos.

2. Sun Protection
Carry and use sunglasses, sunscreen for the lips and skin, and clothing for sun protection.

3. Insulation (Extra Clothing)
How much extra clothing is necessary for an emergency? The garments used during the active portion of a climb and considered to be the basic climbing outfit include inner and outer socks, boots, underwear, pants, shirt, sweater or fleece jacket, hat, mittens or gloves, and raingear. The term “extra clothing” refers to additional layers that would be needed to survive the long, inactive hours of an unplanned bivouac.

4. Illumination
Even if the climbing party plans to return to their cars before dark, it is essential to carry a headlamp or flashlight, just in case. Batteries and bulbs do not last forever, so carry spares of both at all times.

5. First-Aid Supplies
Carry and know how to use a first-aid kit, but do not let a first-aid kit give you a false sense of security. The best course of action is to always take the steps necessary to avoid injury or sickness in the first place. At a minimum, a first-aid kit should include gauze pads in various sizes, roller gauze, small adhesive bandages, butterfly bandages, triangular bandages, battle dressing (or Carlisle bandage), adhesive tape, scissors, cleansers or soap, latex gloves, and paper and pencil.

6. Fire
Carry the means to start and sustain an emergency fire. Most climbers carry a butane lighter or two, instead of matches in a waterproof container. Either must be absolutely reliable. Firestarters are indispensable for igniting wet wood quickly to make an emergency campfire. Common firestarters include candles, chemical heat tabs, and canned heat. On a high-altitude snow or glacier climb where firewood is nonexistent, it is advisable to carry a stove as an additional emergency heat and water source.

7. Repair Kit and Tools
Knives are so useful in first aid, food preparation, repairs, and climbing that every party member needs to carry one. Leashes to prevent loss are common. Other tools (pliers, screwdriver, awl, scissors) can be part of a knife or a pocket tool, or carried separately—perhaps even as part of a group kit. Other useful repair items are shoelaces, safety pins, needle and thread, wire, duct tape, nylon fabric repair tape, cable ties, plastic buckles, cordage, webbing, and parts for equipment such as tent, stove, crampons, snowshoes, and skis.

8. Nutrition (Extra Food)
For shorter trips, a one-day supply of extra food is a reasonable emergency stockpile in case foul weather, faulty navigation, injury, or other reasons delay the planned return. An expedition or long trek may require more. The food should require no cooking, be easily digestible, and store well for long periods. A combination of jerky, nuts, candy, granola, and dried fruit works well. If a stove is carried, cocoa, dried soup, and tea can be added. There are many possibilities.

9. Hydration (Extra Water)
Carry extra water and have the skills and tools required for obtaining and purifying additional water. Always carry at least one water bottle or collapsible water sack. Daily water consumption varies greatly. Two quarts (liters) daily is a reasonable minimum; in hot weather or at high altitudes, 6 quarts may not be enough. In dry environments, carry additional water. Plan for enough water to accommodate additional requirements due to heat, cold, altitude, exertion, or emergency.

10. Emergency Shelter
If the expedition party is not carrying a tent, carry some sort of extra shelter from rain and wind, such as a plastic tube tent or a jumbo plastic trash bag. Another possibility is a reflective emergency blanket. It can be used in administering first aid to an injured or hypothermic person, or can double as a means of shelter.

–Adapted from Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, published by Mountaineers Books

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A Story of Gear Survival – “A Year with Chuck”

Well . . . it has been a year since we began testing the first issue (and the first watch to arrive in the United States) of the Haigh & Hastings M2 Diver watch.  Other team members call this saga, “A year with Chuck.”   And it has been trying year for sure.

Chuck “Pathfinder” Hayden was chosen as the “gear buster” for this timepiece.

Watchpic1

The timepiece that has survived a FULL YEAR on the wrist of Pathfinder.

Haigh & Hastings dubs their product a “timepiece for dangerous men”.   The Fortune Bay Expedition Team dubs it, “One of the few pieces of gear that can survive the dangers of being with Pathfinder – all the time.”  Underwriter’s Laboratory dubs the “year with Pathfinder” to be an unreasonable and an unusually cruel test to perform on any inanimate object.   They call the “year with Chuck” – “assured destruction” for any product.

To be sure, Pathfinder normally destroys no less than 3 watches per year for an average lifespan of 4 months.  Secretly, Pathfinder stated, “It is an awesome watch, but I give it 6 months.”

Pictured is the timepiece on our testing stand.

Pictured is the timepiece on our testing stand.

The first month after we received this stylish timepiece from the Australian company “Haigh and Hastings”, we strapped it to the roof rack of our Jeep and plowed through Arctic wind and snow of James Bay, Canada.  After two hours, we chipped the ice from the face and strapped it back on Pathfinder’s wrist.   It was not phased and keeping perfect time.

The next month, we took it to chainsaw certification.   Pathfinder, as is his nature, dropped the watch on a paved road.  After spending two hours on asphalt and surviving the tire impacts of a variety of fast moving vehicles, the timepiece was found face down and trampled.  We strapped it back onto Pathfinder’s wrist.  The M2 was cleaned and showed no signs of damage.  The sapphire crystal unscathed, the natural rubber strap – just fine.  It was keeping perfect time.

“After spending two hours on asphalt and surviving the tire impacts of a variety of fast moving vehicles, the timepiece was found face down and trampled.”

Over the next few months, the time piece survived a few search & rescue operations, a half dozen kayak trips, floods, a few hundred miles of hiking, rope rescue training, mechanical procedures involving various levels of oils, solvents, tools, parts, rust and mud.  It accepted an average of one (accidental) hammer blow per month, was inadvertently caught in a vise, and slammed against countless trees, rocks and metal.

destroyer

The “Destroyer of Gear” in his natural habitat.

 

In June, it was used as a spacer between two logs so a tow strap could be threaded between the logs to pull a fallen tree off the North Country National Scenic Trail in the Manistee National Forest.

In July, the watched performed flawlessly when it was used as an improvised compass to find direction for an open water kayaking trip.  The indestructible sapphire crystal was also used as a signaling device.

In August, the time piece was used to strap together two metal bars of a Jeep’s roof rack so the bars could be repaired with an Arc welder.

In September, Hayden removed the watch and used the sapphire crystal to signal a team on the other side of Johnson’s Quarry.  He then accidently dropped it 30 feet to the limestone outcrop below.   After a hasty search, the timepiece (by this time nicknamed, “Watson”) was found wedged between two slabs of rock.  It was placed back on Pathfinder’s wrist, dusty but unscathed.

“After a hasty search, the timepiece (by this time nicknamed, “Watson”) was found wedged between two slabs of rock.”

In December, Pathfinder (in preparation for a an annoying series of Christmas events) placed the watch in the silverware rack of a dishwasher to clean it.   Even with the “quick dry oven setting”, the M2 was not fazed.

stitches

Four stitches. . . medical personnel ‘insisted’ that the timepiece was removed before the “bone deep cut” was cleaned and “sewn”. “Feeling should return in 6-12 months. . . “, the doctor mused.

During the “year with Chuck”, Hayden’s wrists and hands have been repaired with 4 stitches (April), a sheet of butterfly Band-Aids (Feb, Mar, Apr, July, Aug, Nov), 6 feet of medical tape (Feb, Mar, Apr, July, Aug, Oct, Nov), 2 feet of duct tape (Mar, Aug, Nov), and 3 yards of gauze (pretty much every month).  During this year (In April), he also severed a nerve in his index finger (the same hand and wrist where the watch is worn) and he still hasn’t regain full feeling in that digit.  While the skin, tissue and bones in Pathfinder’s hands and wrist are able to “heal”, the Haigh and Hastings watch does not have this advantage.  This is a testament of the just how rugged this timepiece is.

Throughout all this, the watch was worn to countless business meetings ranging from retirement plan reviews to sponsorship meetings for expeditions.   The watch was noticed by a dozen timepiece buffs and was only off Pathfinder’s wrist for a total of 78 hours.  It still keeps accurate time and shows no wear from this epic “year of extreme abuse”.

Even more impressive is its ability to survive the sweat, blood, condensation and consistent grim that is “A year with Chuck”.  Not only does it remain a beautiful timepiece, but the natural rubber strap has resisted the stench that normally permeates a watch worn by Pathfinder.  The natural rubber strap still exudes the pleasant scent of Vanilla.  Outstanding!

M2 on SOS Exped

The M2 keeping time on the “Some Oughta Survive Expedition” and record flash floods in Northern Ontario – Fall 2014. The watched survived frigid kayaking conditions, a kayak rescue and record flash floods.

Without question, the Haigh and Hastings M2 Diver Timepiece is by far the most rugged timepiece and IS THE FIRST to make it a full year on the wrist of the “destroyer of gear”.    It truly is a “Timepiece for Dangerous Men”.

In its first year, Haigh and Hastings not only had the honor to serve as Fortune Bay’s official timepiece, but it also served as the time piece for the the Elite Australian Special Air Service Regiment.  If you are looking for a very stylish piece.   If you want a unique and quality timepiece, the only one to hail from the continent of Australia, then look no further.

We are proud to wear this timepiece and you can bet that after surviving a “Year with Chuck”, Haigh and Hastings and their timepieces . . . . “Go Farther”.

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Dead Vehicle Battery? Give it 12 Aspirin and be home by morning. . .

“Dead, it’s dead”, you’re angry prepper friend says.

“What’s dead?” you ask, still in a happy mood after rappelling off the cliff face. dead batt signal1

“The battery is dead and so is the jumper pack”, he adds with obvious frustration. “We are frickin’ 14 miles from nowhere and the Jeep won’t start.”

“Don’t you carry a spare battery in your BOB*”.   (Prepper TLA* for “Bug Out Bag”   *TLA – “Three Letter Acronym”)

“You can’t – it’s way too heavy!! Don’t you troll the prepper forums to learn about this stuff?”, he says with obvious authority for all things ‘internet’.

You contemplate his question, then with an air of curiosity you ask, “I thought you guys prepared for anything and even tested your gear before you left the house?”

“Dang it man, I have to be home before midnight and it is a 6 hour drive!”, he pleads.

“Ok, Ok – how about a can of coke and a bottle of aspirin, Prep, do you have that?”, you finally ask.

“Come on! What is that for?”

“The headache you’re gonna give me if you don’t shut up, but I thought I would fix the battery”, you retort.

aspirinHe stares at you with a perfect balance of frustrated yin and awestruck yang – then he turns and waddles away while squealing a high pitch expletive.

“Fine”, you say quietly, “I’ll find it myself”. You stroll to the back of the Jeep, wiggle out of your climbing harness and toss it on the massive pile of gear. Then you pry the top of the cooler slip a can of coke out. You plunge your arm into the pile of gear and manage to extract the small first aid kit. You unzip the kit, find the full bottle of expired aspirin and whisper, “Excellent”.

Walking around to the front of the Vehicle, you notice Prep has returned. He says, “You are the most unprepared jackass I have ever met.” You smile and prop the hood open. You ask Prep to get a screw driver and a pair of needle nose pliers.

First, you check the connection of the battery clamps to the post to ensure a good connection and no corrosion. They are tight but a quite corroded.   You pop open the can of coke, take a drink then pour it on the battery clamps and posts.

This is what the process looks like. . .

Prep returns with the tools, you glance at him with a knowing smile.  He grimaces and looks at the fizzy mess as the corrosion melts from the posts and clamps.  You check the clamps for cracks or damage. They look OK.

Now, you have to get the battery to produce enough Volts and Amps to start the vehicle.   Luckily, you have packed the right tool to do just that. This tool doesn’t weigh anything, it provides its own maintenance and improvements, adds more of itself often and is more valuable than any other piece of gear that you carry . . . knowledge.

Let’s review what we know about batteries.

A battery is created when two different metals or carbon rods (called electrodes) are placed in an electrically conductive medium (called an electrolyte). Stick a penny (copper-plated zinc) and a nickel (nickel/copper alloy) into a lemon, and you have a battery. Put a copper wire and aluminum wire into a jar of urine, and you have a battery. This you know from learning the concept of a battery in 8th grade science.

lemon battery

Prep is now looking at you with anticipation and curiosity. You contemplate your situation while drinking some of the coke.

Different metals react at different rates (i.e., create charged particles) with the electrolyte. This means one electrode will give up electrons at a faster rate than the other, creating an imbalance of the charge distribution in the electrolyte. Bits of charged electrolyte move from one electrode to the other (direction is positive to negative) to eliminate this imbalance. When these charged bits make contact with the negative electrode, they give up their electrons, and electricity is created. As this occurs, the lead electrodes become more chemically alike, the electrolyte becomes less active, and the voltage drops until the battery can no longer deliver the necessary voltage. Stimulating the electrolyte through some form of additive adds chemical energy to the system and may provide a brief energy boost to the battery. Feeding an electrical current back into the battery restores the chemical difference between the electrodes and recharges the battery (this doesn’t work for all batteries, but it works for car batteries).

Most car batteries are “lead acid” batteries. Lead-acid batteries are made up of plates of lead and separate plates of lead dioxide, which are submerged into an electrolyte solution of about 38% sulfuric acid and 62% water. This causes a chemical reaction that releases electrons, allowing them to flow through conductors to produce electricity.

battdiagram

You look at Prep with resolved eyes, “all we have to do is change the acid in the battery so that it will react with the lead and create electricity right?”

Prep says, “Sure”

You continue thinking out loud, “So, recharging the battery involves either finding a way to stimulate the electrolyte, or finding a way to feed electricity back into the battery.”

Prep says, “I guess so?”

“We could pour some cola into the battery. Start the car after a few minutes. Of course, you’ll have to replace the battery because we’ve destroyed it, but at least you’ll be home by midnight.”

Prep says, “it is an old battery, it doesn’t matter much. But won’t we need a battery to run the Jeep until we can buy a new one?”

“Ah yes, Old Prep, that could be a problem”

You continue, “We could. . . Remove the fluid from the battery. The Squeeze a dozen limes in the battery.”

“We don’t have limes”, Prep adds.   “Right” you respond.

“We could also drink soda and urinate into the battery. Fill the remainder of the battery with the water. Wait 9 hours and put the battery back in.”

“Gotta be home in 12 hours – 6 hour drive”, Prep responds. “Right”, you confirm.

“Saliva, potato chip brine, hydrogen peroxide all would work in theory”, you mention.

While all this does works in theory, you have three disadvantages to this basic approach.

  1.  Though the “theory is sound”, it generally won’t work in practice for a variety of reasons.  The main reason is getting the proportions right.
  2. You can try them, but if they don’t work, you have likely ruined the battery and eliminated any other opportunity of getting the vehicle started.
  3. Several proposed additives run a real risk of blowing up the battery.

 

There is, however, one additive that you took out of the first aid kit that avoids these disadvantages.

The aspirin.

We can pry off the cap, pull any rubber stopper vents blocking the cells in the battery (there are 6 cells at 2 volts each). Put two tablets of aspirin in each battery cell and wait no more than 1 hour (the acetylsalicylic acid combines with the sulfuric acid to get off one more charge.) You can pry the cell covers off with a screwdriver even on most maintenance-free batteries.

As bizarre as this sounds, aspirin will often work depending on the degree of discharge of aspirin & Batt the battery. It is a reasonably safe approach and usually good for one more engine turn. Be warned that adding aspirin will shorten the battery life, as the aspirin will react with the sulfuric acid to form acetic acid. Good for a boost, but bad for the innards of the battery. Assuming you add no more than a couple of aspirins per cell, it shouldn’t cause significant damage nor preclude additional efforts if it fails to work. So there is at least one safe, viable way to have a reasonable shot at getting the vehicle restarted by stimulating the electrolyte.

You explain this to Prep.   He doesn’t seem convince, but your options are limited so he says, “Well, let’s see if it works.”

You open the battery, crush several aspirin from the first aid kit, being careful to keep them segregated so there are two crushed aspirin for each cell. Then you put the powder in the battery, and add bottled water to fill it to the proper level. The acetylsalicylic acid from the aspirin will combine with the battery acid and increase the charge in the battery, and the water will help restore the electrolyte in the battery.

You replace the caps, gather your tools, finish the coke and jump in the Jeep. Turn the key and the engine starts right up. Though, we may need a new battery soon.

Prep hops in, points the way and says, “Let go.”   You look at him with anticipation and realize, he doesn’t care, he just wants to get home.   You smile, turn away to laugh, push the shifter in gear and take off.  Leaving Prep’s BOB at the parking area. . .

Interested in learning more about improvising in the wilderness?  Expeditions need improvisation to be successful.  This is the kind of knowledge you will gain at the online School of Expeditionary Sciences.   Click on the link to find out more.

Til next time, remember, “Knowledge Weighs Nothing”.

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The Busted Tire Fix – Improvised

This is a sample of one of the techniques we will cover in the Overland Vehicle Travel Course – Click Here.

Blown Tire

On your way to Relay, Ontario – a cold war radar relay station way off the beaten path (190 mile from the nearest tire repair shop). Your front tire is torn by some steel debris left over from a logging operation.   You stop and change the tire.   It has a 6 inch gash in two separate spots. You lament that it isn’t repairable and throw it on the roof rack. Then you notice, that the tire on the other side is also flat.

You pull the tire repair kit from under the seat, put some air in it with the onboard compressor.   You slather it in camp soap and find the puncture, drill it, clean it and work a plug into it.   It holds the air. So off you go, with only 40 miles to go.

The gravel road leads across a dam on then turns rocky, then sandy, then rocky again.   You haven’t seen another vehicle in over a day.   It’s a pretty lonely place.

You reach the entrance of the 15 mile road to Relay. It has a couple of boulders blocking your way. So you set about moving one of them with the high lift jack. You make room for your Jeep and on you go. 5 miles later you hear an explosion and the vehicle suddenly pulls to the right.   The tire you just plugged must have blown out.

You hop out and discover a huge tear in the sidewall. You saw that it was damaged when you patched it, but now it is a huge open wound.

Now here you are, in the middle of nowhere. You already used your spare and you didn’t bring two. You’re stuck.

(Now before those reading this start to hem and haw about how much more prepared they would be than Mr. Hypothetical, or why YOU buy run on flats, always carry two spares or some other hypothetical arm chair quarterbacking, let me just say, “Go ahead and save it”. We know you are a huge deal and that you are ALWAYS prepared. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back and keep quiet – we know.   This story isn’t here to discuss a hypothetical story, it is merely here to provide a more interesting story as we discuss an idea and some knowledge.)

No back to you, our intrepid adventurer and your “situation”.

You have enough food, supplies and scientific equipment on board to start a flourishing colony. But, you spend half your year camping out, you would rather get back home within the next week.   You power up the sat phone and call the expedition watch.   They set about organizing some help.

You make some coffee, eat an early lunch and the expedition watch calls back. They can get a tire and rim to you from Canadian Tire for a little over $350. They can have it flown in from Timmins in three days, but you have to meet them at the airfield (10 miles away – for $2,000 (cost of wheel, tire and delivery), the going rate to fly a spare part into a remote airfield in the Ontario frontier. Mining companies pay it often) or they can drive it to you in about a week ($1,200).   The other option, they can have one sent by rail and dropped off at the dam (for $500) it will be there tomorrow around noon. But they need the old rim on trade.   You choose the rail option. Now, all you have to do is present yourself and the rim at the rail stop, in 24 hours, 30 miles away.

You don’t want to leave all your gear, 30 miles is a long hike, plus the thought of rolling a spare 30 miles there and rolling the new tire back doesn’t appeal to you. So, you have to get yourself and your vehicle 30 miles down dirt, rock and gravel service roads and logging roads to the rail stop by the dam. You could drive on the flat, but you need the rim to trade and a bare rim is kind of dangerous – but it may be doable.

Any other ideas?

Well, sure. . .

Remembering back to your days as a logger (waaaay back) and your short stint in the military (not as far back. . . but back there), you devise a way to drive there.

So here it is, the “Timber Skid” or the “Expedient Skid”.

Keep in mind, we have a Jeep Wrangler – 2007 4-Door Model (we’ll use Reaper’s as an example – it’s Maroon).   Personally, I have only used this concept when the lugs of the work pick up were sheared off on the log landing a couple of miles from the road. There was also the shredded ATV tire in remote Savant Lake, Ontario, where we used a timber skid to get us back to the camp. The only other time I worked the concept was during one of those “blocks of instruction” at Ft. Clayton, Panama when the motor pool (deployed and in the field) was bored and wanted to try it on a Government Issue Chevy Blazer (I think there was a $50 bet, a case of beer and a proud hillbilly PFC mechanic involved). I haven’t had the opportunity to try it on a front wheel drive car. This also won’t work well (or at all) on a rear wheel drive car.

We are talking about a four wheel drive, on expedition, when you don’t have many options and this is “kind of” a last resort.   With a Jeep Wrangler, you also have 4 wheels that can turn and some room under the vehicle. These expedient skids can take some effort to get going.

OK here is the step by step:

  1. First point your vehicle in the direction you will be driving.  This is a remote narrow road, rarely travelled.  We are going to park on the side, facing the direction of the dam.  You CAN’T back up easily once the timber skid is installed, so position the vehicle before you start.
  2. This technique only works on rear wheel.  You flat is on the front tire.  So, you have to change the good back tire to the front.  Since this an expedition to a remote area, you have a chain saw and spare fuel.  So go cut some trees about 6”-8” in diameter.  Cut two chocks (to block the wheels), Then another to support the Jeep when you jack it up (10”-16” in Diameter would be best).  Tall enough to keep the Jeep off the ground while you work underneath.  You are going to block it up with these).  Now you need two 6ft logs.  (to be sporting, let’s say you are too lazy to get the jack out of the back).
  3. Arrange the logs – one at the front parallel to the bumper and the other perpendicular to the bumper, making a ramp – on the flat tire side.  Just like the picture below.
Improvised Jack

Improvised Jack

4.  Loosen the lug nuts a little.  Being that we have a steel bumper and a clear drive up the log (no parts in the way), drive up that puppy.  Just enough to raise the tire a couple of inches of the ground. Since we are too lazy to get the jack out – just take the tire off and put the shredded spare (on the roof) on as a temporary replacement.  Then drive off the log.

5.  Put the log configuration behnd the vehicle and drive up the log a little.  Replace the back tire.

6.  Repeat the whole thing on the front – then put the good tire on the front.  Throw the shredded one back in the roof rack.   Drive off the log.  Now we have a good tire on the front – bad tire on the back.  Honestly, you could do this in any order you want to save time, but we need the good tire on the front and in the end, we will have no passenger side tire on the back.

7.  Fire up the chain saw and cut a 6 – 8 foot long oak pole (or other strong wood) 4“ in diameter.
8.  Drive backwards up our pole (this time more in the middle) and block it so it can’t slide down.  Chock your wheels.  (You will be working under it).  Take the rear shredded wheel off.
9.  Place one end of the pole above the cross member near the transmission and the other end on the ground.

FramePic

10.  Pass the pole under the spring U-bolts, align it with the spring and lash it securely to the spring.  You should use chain for your lashing as there is a likelihood of rope abrading and breaking.  (I know some hard core 4-wheelers don’t like chain, but it has many uses).  Also, watch the exhaust if you use rope.  IMPORTANT:  Make sure you aren’t touching the moving parts of the wheel where you removed the tire or the drive shaft.  There are parts that will still move when you drive, so you don’t want the rubbing.

Timber Skid Side View

11.   Move the vehicle off the log jack, using four-wheel drive. Starting will be difficult, but once moving, the vehicle will ride and handle surprisingly well.  Make sure your chain, log and wheel aren’t rubbing as the wheel will still spin with the tire off.

I know . . . you’re thinking it’s crazy and will never work. Well, it does and I have seen it in action. But like any technique, you have to analyze and experiment with your construction. You will have to adjust what you are doing as you are going at it. For instance, a common mistake is to use rope instead of chain on drags and skids.   The problem with rope is that it abrades and soon breaks. I’ve made this mistake a few times.   Make sure to have some chain around for this type of improvisation.   There are a number of other uses for chain that we cover in our Overland Vehicle Travel Course (OVT1), so just because an experienced off road hobbyist tells you “chain is bad”, you may want to consider having some. It has downfalls for many applications in towing and recovery, but it has upsides in improvisation too.

Just for the sake of proof, here is a picture from the U.S. Army Field Manual (FM 20-22) (Dated 1962)

TimberSkidJeep

Of course there are always those who say, “I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work”.   One example comes from the tireless Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters fame. The video below, shows their attempt at a log skid. Take a viewing of it.   When the movie is done, we can gather outside in the lobby and discuss it.

O.K. now that you have watched the video, what happened and why did their skid break down after only 200 yards (besides hitting speed bumps)?

The rope “abraded” right? Again – chain will last longer, but it seems they also tied it very close to the ground so it would abrade. Did you also notice the sliding they did when driving it down the road? Why did that happen? Could it be the nice angle and all the surface area due to the log being on the tire, not the frame, causing it to act like a rubber and forcing the car to turn?   This happened to the motorpool guys down in Panama when they tried it.   They adjusted the angle and it drove suprisingly well. It also fell apart after about 15 miles of driving. (They cut another log, chained it up and continued on.)

There are a number of other things they could have changed or adjusted, but you get my point. Improvisation rarely works the first time.   Keep trying – especially when others HAVE done it.

Don’t get me wrong, Adam and Jamie are exceedingly awesome with their skills, experimentation, and improvisation.   We would be estatic to have them with us when we need to improvise.   But, in this case, it looks like they gave up on the concept far too soon.

With a little experimentation and their mad skills, I am pretty sure they would have perfected the concept. Which is what improvisation is all about – experimenting, adjusting and “making it work”.

Well then, there you are in the Ontario Wilderness. All packed up and off you go to get your spare tire.   Your improvised tire replacement might break, wear down to a nub or fall apart a couple of times, but you hop out, fix it up and continue on.   OR . . . you could hike 60 miles with a spare tire, that would be epic.   Oh yeah, you could hike just a measily 20 miles with a tire . . . and spend $1,500 more. But, that seems to be for people with more money than sense.

But wait? Won’t this tear up the road?

Um . . . yeah. A little trench will be left in the road – which in our story was gravel and dirt.   And normally, if you are a 100 miles from the nearest town, the road is probably not paved.   But, if leaving a drag mark bothers you that much then go ahead and walk the 60 miles.   Like I said – that would be an “epic” story to tell at the bar. . . if you make it.

And Hey.   If you are interested in learning a lot more of these techniques, then I dare say you should check out our “Overland Vehicle Travel Course”. We have one on January 17th. Courtesy Jeep and Fortune Bay are working on a program to bring this type of knowledge and technique to you.   We will cover everything from off road driving, not having your tires freeze to the ground in the arctic, avoiding being bribed by the cops in Hondurous, to what to do when your check engine light comes on 400 miles from the nearest town.   Also, recoverng a stuck vehcile and much, much more.   It is given by some experienced expedition people and highly skilled Jeep techs. You are sure to learn a lot!!

Check it out CLICK HERE

<on another, less awesome note.   If the gashes in your tire are big enough, you can stuff the tires with weeds and grass (hay) and drive it quite a ways.>

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