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Re: Snow trench - Survival Only

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  • Matthew Takeda
    ... This sounds like a good situation for the survival bag/Palmer Furnace combination. Not well known here, but relatively common in parts of the UK. I always
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 21, 2004
      J.D. Hoessle wrote:
      >Having *once* been in a white-out, my technique was to find a conifer
      >(with very little snow next to the trunk), dig into the needles as far
      >as I could, pull *EVERYTHING* I had around me and wait it out. I had
      >the good ol' SVEA stove (Heavy by today's standards) and it was enough
      >to keep me somewhat warm.
      >Fortunately, I was out of there and found my way within 48 hours.

      This sounds like a good situation for the survival bag/Palmer Furnace
      combination. Not well known here, but relatively common in parts of the UK.
      I always have one tucked in a corner of my pack or daybag somewhere, just
      in case. The following is quoted from Andy Woodward, who used to be a
      frequent contributor to several groups I belong to, including rec.
      motorcycles and the Primitive Skills Group (this quote is surprisingly
      readable; Andy was well known for frequent typos). Haven't heard from him
      since he finished a contract job and lost his university e-mail a couple of
      years ago. Anyway, the only improvement I can think of to Andy's
      description is the addition of a bit of foam or something to sit/crouch on
      to reduce heat loss to the cold ground/snow.

      >The Get Out of Hell Free trick is to put a longlife candle under the
      >trashbag with you. This is called a Palmer Furnace after a Dr
      >Palmer, a caver who invented the idea for warming up hypothermic
      >cavers. You would not beleive how effective it is. It is quite literally a
      >Heres something I posted to a motorcycle gruop years ago.
      >Where was I. Oh yes. Palmer Furnaces.
      >Useful things for winter bikers, Palmer Furnaces (forgotten who
      >Palmer was - some caver I think). You are dying of hypothermia 3
      >hours away from home. You whip out your Palmer Furnace, and
      >half an hour later you have to ride again to cool off. What are
      >Take a Survival Bag. [For IgnorantYanks(tm), these are big >6ftx>3ft
      >plastic bags sold for winter mountaineers as emergency shelters to
      >save their lives if benighted in a white out.]. Cut a 3 inch radius
      >hole in one corner of the foot of the bag. Sit down and put the bag
      >over you upside down [with the opening of the bag at the bottom and
      >your newly cut chimney hole at the top. Light up your Long-Life
      >candle [or tub of petroleum jelly with wick stuck in] as a heat
      >source. Make sure there is a little gap at the bottom of the bag for
      >the air to get in and the little chimney hole is open to ensure a good
      >airflow so you dont die of CO poisoning....... Alternatively cut the
      >chimney hole just large enough to stick your head out of. This
      >reduces the possibility of CO poisoning but reduces the efficiency
      >cos you lose heat thru your head.
      >NEVER EVER sleep inside one of these with the candle lit!!!!! With
      >your head inside, you may poison yourself, with it outside, you may
      >burn yourself down......You'll wake from the cold when it's time fro
      >another charge of heat.....
      >Alternatively to the survival bag, you could use a poncho, or a large
      >binbag (with your head out cos there's no room inside.....) or a
      >space blanket wrapped round widthways like a cape.
      >I tried this out for the first time years ago by going out with a
      >survival bag and sitting in a T-shirt in -5C with a 40mph wind. And
      >hour later, I gave up in boredom.......
      >Clear survival bags are also useful for solar heating. If the sun is
      >out, the temperature inside can be 80F while the outside
      >temperature is freezing! So then you dont need any extra heat
      >Postscri[pt - I bet hte new reflective Space Bags are superb for this.

      Matthew Takeda
      the JOAT
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