Sit. Rep. #164: Skill Sets and Tool Belts

1- The BSA Handbook and the BSA Fieldbook are full of personal tools and skills.  Your fellow Scouts and Scout Leaders are full of skills, techniques, information, instruction, and ideas that you can learn to fill up your tool belt of skills and knowledge.

The reason that I use the tool belt for the analogy is that you carry most of your tools around with you.  When someone is in need of First Aid or CPR, you do not have time to look up how to do these skills.  We need to have those well-rehearsed skills in our personal tool belts.

2- You also have to practice and build on these basic skills!

3- We discussed campfires in Sit. Rep. # 76 and # 132.  Let us see what else we can learn from a campfire.

The color of the flame tells us the temperature of the fire.  More red, orange and yellow flames mean that the temperature is cooler.  White and blue flames tell us the temperature is hotter.  Deep red flames run about 900 to 1,100 F / 500 to 600 C.  A bright white or blue flame runs about 2,100 to 2,500 F / 1,200 to 1,400 C.

The temperature depends on the fuel used and the amount of oxygen that is available to the fire.  Saltwater driftwood will have some residual salts in the wood.  And will therefore burn all sorts of beautiful colors but the smoke is even more unhealthy for anyone to breathe.

Smoke is a gas byproduct of fire.  Soot and ash are the unburned particles that are the byproducts of the fire.  Soot is the particulate matter suspended in the smoke.  But we can use the campfire smoke to draw some conclusions.

The smoke blows downwind.  That tells us which direction the weather is coming from.  Is the smoke column more vertical or more horizontal?  Tells us the speed of the wind and maybe how close we are to a weather change.  Smoke that hovers or is low-hanging may mean that a low-pressure front is on the way and therefore a change in the weather.

The darker the smoke, the more soot in the smoke.  And notice when you put water on the fire that the smoke turns white because of the steam from the water vapor.

Let us reverse the use of smoke.  Remember STOP or SSSTTTOPPASSS from Sit. Rep. #132.  If the person that is lost is doing what is prescribed, then you can find them visually using smoke.  Or by scent by smelling their campfire smoke.  Review wind directions in Sit. Rep. #84.

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire
R: Frostbite!

S: How do you keep a bear from charging?
T: Take away her credit card!

U: What kind of dog can tell time?
V: A watchdog

Semper Paratus,

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.