Ego and outdoor gear.

Backpacking is more than just about gear. Here's a forum to talk about the "philosophy" of lightweight backpacking.
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Ego and outdoor gear.

Postby JesterJosev » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:31 pm

Outdoor gear is an interesting thing. As backpackers, campers, or bush crafters, we learn the skills necessary to use outdoor technology, and consequently develop preferences regarding our gear. I’m reading Camping and Woodcraft, by Kemphart, originally compiled in 1906, in which he says :arrow: "I have heard veterans sitting around a camp-fire proclaim the superiority of their kits with a jealousy, loyalty and enthusiasm they would not exhibit for the flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone. On a campaign you may attack a man’s courage, the flag he serves, the newspaper for which he works, his intelligence , or his camp manners, and he will ignore your; but if you criticize his patent water-bottle he will fall upon you with both fists." (Kephart, ... 9/mode/2up) Almost a hundred years later Kephart helps to prove that although people may come and go. A person’s outdoor gear is a sensitive topic. :?

I recently had the opportunity to go wilderness back packing with a group of friends. :DB: They hadn’t done much wilderness backpacking (at least one of them didn't seem prepared), and I didn’t really want to let on that I have a little experience because I still have a lot to learn still. :oops: One of the first purchases they decided to buy was camp knives. We scoured Cold Steel, SOG, and other knife brand websites for hours. Eventually the marketing propaganda began to set in (well for the most part it seems as if they were mocking the propagnda). Each time that overweight guy sliced through a pig, or cut a length of rope on a Cold Steel video, my cohorts figured they needed a larger or more robust knife (I remember them actually being semi reasonable choises of knives they bought). They decided they required these knives, because it just might save them from bears. But there was more to it! When they finally had their large tactical, bear killing, super knives, they started to make fun of my small Spyderco Delica (This taunting started even before the purchases as far as I remember). :geek: My knife it was decided was wussy, and would “tickle the bears”. I decided I wouldn’t take offence, as I figured my small knife was up for the task. I took this ribbing in good humor, retorting with “When you climb that mountain with 40 pounds of gear on your back, including your super knife, we’ll see whose laughing.” (or something like the last quotation) Once while on a short hike one of the guys brought his super knife and thought it would be clever to try his hand at throwing his knife at a tree. After a few spirited throws, I guess he figured that he would be so generous as to let me throw super knife at the tree. As I held the knife in my hand I noticed that although the knife might be super at killing bears, it wasn’t really super at suffering being thrown at a tree. The metal between the handle and blade had come loose, and looked like it had been glued on. Needless to say I didn’t throw super knife at the tree in its current state. I was asked not to apologize for super knifes less than inspiring tree slaying performance. We decided to go back to the knife store and trade in super knife, for a proper bear killer. 8-)

Super knife 2 looked mean. It was sleek, and coated in black (or silver I forget). It was decided this was the proper situational tool for bear protection, and tree slaying. On our second hike, one of my friends with a big honking knife packed a little heavy and was taking a few breather breaks. We were trying to kill some time, so super knife 2 was called to the front to be thrown at a tree once more. *THUNK*clink* rang out, and after we fetched super knife from the ground, we found a chunk out of the blade was gouged out. This was decided that it was acceptable as my cohort was considering making super knife 2 into a serrated blade. :mrgreen: Sadly super knife 2 hasn’t had a chance to perform in the line of duty yet, since we haven’t seen any bears yet.

From what I read “a polar bears claws can be longer than 2 inches each” (I think I found this on Wikipedia perhaps). So a six inch super knife adds up to be about the same length as 3 toes on a bear. I don’t know what the plan is for the other 17 toes, . I can see the use of a larger knife if the situation calls for it. In dense jungle for clearing the path, and for cutting pie properly, a large knife comes in handy. Despite all the baboonery between my friends :lol: , I like how Francis Tapon wrote “Hike your own hike.” I have learnt to look at how gear serves other people, and try to think critically whether or not it’s functional, or based on a mythical idea of how people think camp craft is. Although many people will get up in arms about their choice in camp gear, hopefully cooler heads will prevail.
(sorry for the over exagerations and lies, this post was for entertainment.)
Last edited by JesterJosev on Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ego and outdoor gear.

Postby realityguy » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:15 pm

That doesn't include bear teeth many? :o ... the incident I linked to above..this was the massive Buck knife used to cut the pack off the victim so he could be rolled over for CPR..


...been sitting by a bathroom sink here at home ever since.There is a point where ultralight just doesn't cut it..literally.That was a struggle to cut the straps also..but appeared to be the only knife available at the immediate scene(maybe others 150' away),including an off-duty ranger and his wife,plus another last minute hiker that showed up at that point.Do you think that might have stopped a 350+ lb mountain goat? :roll:
Blades and bears :roll: ..You might as well pee on forest fires also. :lol: I think if you are smart,you really want to nip it in the bud and spray the b#st#rds from 30-40 feet away instead.
The views and opinions expressed by this person are his own and not the general consensus of others on this website.Realityguy

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Re: Ego and outdoor gear.

Postby zelph » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:04 pm

The size and quantity of knives you determins what kind of man you are. :lol:

I was watching one of Smokeeaters videos and at the end he started flicking open one of his many many many knives. He has a lot. Tinny better not mess with Smoke :P I wonder how they are getting along nowadays :o

Knives.....doesn't matter if it's small, what matters is how you use it. ;) Tactical :lol: that makes me laugh everytime I see that name tacked onto something.

Haha, let me see if I can hunt down a recent thing I found on Grizzlies in Ohio or back.

Found it:

Bears on the Lewis and Clark Expedition
It was the largest bear they'd ever seen, a great grizzly bear that weighed an estimated 600 pounds. A "most tremendous looking animal, and extreemly hard to kill," wrote Lewis in his journal on May 5, 1805. Clark described the grizzly as "verry large and a turrible looking animal." Clark and another member of the expedition fired 10 shots at it before it died.

Several tribes of Native Americans had told Lewis and Clark about grizzly bears. The tribes would only attack these great bears if there were 6-10 people in their hunting party, and even then the bears would sometimes kill one of them. The first grizzlies Lewis saw during the expedition were two smaller bears. He and another hunter had easily killed one of them. That day Lewis wrote in his journal that although the Native Americans with their bows and arrows might have problems, the grizzlies were no match for skilled rifleman. He soon changed his mind.
Lewis was out scouting alone on June 15, 1805. He decided to make camp and shot a buffalo. As he was watching the buffalo fall, a grizzly bear came rushing towards him. Lewis raised his gun to shoot and then realized he had not reloaded his riffle. The bear was getting closer. There were no trees or bushes nearby, but there was a river. Lewis quickly ran into the water. The bear followed. When the bear saw Lewis in the water, for no apparent reason he stopped and ran in the other direction. Lewis was lucky. After that he thought that the Corps (Lewis and Clark's expedition party) should not go out alone. Even at camp, he thought they should sleep with their guns beside them in case of bear attacks.
The bears chased members of the Corps through the woods, into bushes, into the water. On July 15, 1806, Hugh McNeal was out alone on horseback. All of a sudden he saw a grizzly bear in the bushes. His horse bucked and threw McNeal near the bear. The bear raised itself up to attack. What could McNeal do at such close range? He hit the bear with his gun. The bear was temporarily stunned and fell down. McNeal quickly climbed up a nearby tree. Because of their large size and straight claws, grizzly bears aren't good tree climbers, so the bear waited at the base of the tree. And waited. And waited. Finally just before dark, the bear gave up and left. McNeal climbed down and got back to camp safely.

By the end of the expedition Lewis believed that the Corps had been very lucky to not lose anyone to a grizzly bear. He wrote that "the hand of providence has been most wonderfully in our favor."

Lewis and Clark began to see signs of the grizzly shortly after they left Fort Mandan in April 1805. Lewis reported seeing “tracks of the white bear of enormous size” along the Missouri, along with mangled buffalo carcasses on which the bear were feeding. The first grizzlies they spotted ran away, giving the Corps a false sense of security. They killed their first grizzly on April 29, 1805, an immature male of about 300 pounds. Lewis bragged in his journal, “the Indians may well fear this anamal equiped as they generally are with their bows and arrows or indifferent fuzees, but in the hands of skillfull riflemen they are by no means as formidable or dangerous as they have been represented.”

Subsequent encounters would prove otherwise. On May 5, William Clark and George Droulliard killed an enormous grizzly bear, with some effort. Clark described it as a “verry large and a turrible looking animal, which we found verry hard to kill we Shot ten Balls into him before we killed him, & 5 of those Balls through his lights.” Lewis estimated the weight of the bear at 500-600 pounds, about twice the size of the average black bear. He noted that after the bear was shot, “he swam more than half the distance across the river to a sandbar & it was at least twenty minutes before he died; he did not attempt to attack, but fled and made the most tremendous roaring from the moment he was shot.” Once the bear finally died, they butchered it for meat, bear oil, and its thick furry skin. Sobered by the size and ferocity of the bear, Lewis wrote, “I find that the curiossity of our party is pretty well satisfyed with rispect to this anamal.”

A few days later Private Bratton narrowly escaped after being chased half a mile by a bear he had wounded through the lungs. Lewis sent a party in pursuit, which found the bear “perfectly alive.” They finally killed it with two shots to the skull. By this time, Lewis’s bravado had all but disappeared. “This bear being so hard to die reather intimedates us all; I must confess that I do not like the gentlemen and had reather fight two Indians than one bear; there is no other chance to conquer them by a single shot but by shooting them through the brains… the flece and skin were as much as two men could possibly carry.”

On May 14, six men from the Corps of Discovery, “all good hunters,” came upon another grizzly bear lying in the open about 300 paces from the river. Lewis described what happened next:

they took the advantage of a small eminence which concealed them and got within 40 paces of him unperceived, two of them reserved their fires as had been previously conscerted, the four others fired nearly at the same time and put each his bullet through him, two of the balls passed through the bulk of both lobes of his lungs, in an instant this monster ran at them with open mouth, the two who had reserved their fires discharged their pieces at him as he came towards them, boath of them struck him, one only slightly and the other fortunately broke his shoulder, this however only retarded his motion for a moment only, the men unable to reload their guns took to flight, the bear pursued and had very nearly overtaken them before they reached the river; two of the party betook themselves to a canoe and the others seperated an concealed themselves among the willows, reloaded their pieces, each discharged his piece at him as they had an opportunity they struck him several times again but the guns served only to direct the bear to them, in this manner he pursued two of them seperately so close that they were obliged to throw aside their guns and pouches and throw themselves into the river altho’ the bank was nearly twenty feet perpendicular; so enraged was this anamal that he plunged into the river only a few feet behind the second man he had compelled take refuge in the water, when one of those who still remained on shore shot him through the head and finally killed him; they then took him on shore and butchered him when they found eight balls had passed through him in different directions.
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