An essential part of any expedition is the taiga fire. "… Fire – is the battery of vigor, energy and activity ", – as noted by a participant and leader of numerous experiments on the survival of V. Volovich. And a fire – it is warm and light, dry clothes, hot food, bottled water, protection from midges. Fire, necessarily bred every night, suddenly creates an atmosphere of comfort and coziness.
Indeed, the rest by the fire can not be compared with the cold overnight. In wet wet weather fire from the category of comfort at once transformed into a means of daily necessities. Impossibility of a fire puts travelers in a very difficult position. In an emergency situation, a fire unit can sometimes be a matter of life or death. Therefore, even before the route to make sure that there are no problems, at least in making fire.
Practice has shown that the bonfire in field conditions, the most convenient and reliable matches, not oil or gas lighter. However, the latter can also be taken with you, but to use it as a spare, auxiliary means.
It is best to use a match with sulfuric enlarged head – the so-called "hunting." Unlike regular matches they can burn in a strong wind and the rain, and they burn much longer. To provide protection from moisture matches, they dipped into the melted tallow.
Matches for daily use can be stored in multiple, of nested plastic bags, which are twisted neck tight bundle and tied. Packed into polyethylene, they can dampen the temperature difference, so they must either leave the box, or properly wrapped in paper.
Matches, and from a box grater can also be stored in a sealed container – in the case of film, plug brass cap sleeve, a rubber balloons, each of which the neck tightly tied with a rope. At the same time, to protect against condensation matches, they must be wrapped with paper.
Furthermore, it is necessary to have an emergency supply of matches. And it's better than a big and some small. To create an emergency reserve matches tightly sealed in a polythene strip – each in a separate cell, and then packed in a waterproof, preferably a plastic bag with a tight fitting lid, which for most sealing poured tallow. This emergency supplies should be in every member of the expedition. All these precautions are not excessive – in the memories of many taezhnikov often found very dramatic episodes associated with trying to make fire.
So, JP Parmuzin – geographer and researcher, a graduate of Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, who has worked for decades in the Siberian expedition, described the case from his practice when wet matches almost cost the lives of him and his three companions.
It was in the Far Eastern taiga in August. A small detachment of Parmuzin geographer, topographer Vershinin, two workers were dirty and Ma-wire bales and Soloviev – went to the base of the geodesic party. Several kilometers of heavy road through the swamp tired people, and when he reached the river Ogodzhi, they made a halt. The river to the base was only 17 miles, but for some reason, the conductor did a great hook, avoiding Ogodzhi valley. Although no one, except for the conductor, these places do not know, but one look at the map was enough to know that down the river is much more profitable than trudge through endless taiga swamps. The temptation was too great, and, despite the protests of the conductor, it was decided to send him with the deer around, and build yourself a pair of small rafts – Salikov and calm river rafting.
Doubts began to creep in even when they built rafts – the rain, soon turned into a downpour, and shoaled over the summer river swelled instantly. But to abandon his plan did not. Swimming was short-lived and very unfortunate – repeatedly flew rafts on the rocks, to manage them in the raging river was becoming increasingly difficult, people often found themselves in the icy water. Going into the gorge, the river became much deeper for increased, appeared in front of a waterfall. One of the rafts had time to hit the beach, the other crashed on the rocks. Parmuzin and shouting a miracle out of the water, with Matyukov heavily injured leg. On the future of navigation is not out of the question.
Had to go to the shore. The rain did not stop, the wind increased, people are completely chilled. Often, the way was blocked by a rock, and so had to look toi roll to get to the other side. But also at the small rapids water was above my knees. Soon cross the river to wade became impossible. We had to wade through the thicket of floodplain forests, climb the hill and go riding. Slope of the hill was littered with Kurumi – cloak of stone slabs. Lichens covering the granite blocks in the rain turned into a slippery mucus, and was very difficult to walk. "Up to the top of the hill got quite exhausted. But it was even colder – can neither sit nor stop. Clouds clinging to the tops of larch trees, as if played vperegonki. Saturated with water and the cold, they then quickly shoots up, then fell on top of the hill, trying to get to the gorge. Such clouds are to snowstorms. They carried a cold and is aggravating the already gloomy mood. We moved silently, hands outstretched, barely lifting his feet, to confuse users rosemary. With the rain poured yellowed needles larch.
Gradually subsided Ogodzhi noise. Guidelines were not: they ate the clouds, I will cover all the high hills. It was necessary to look at the compass, but he hung on the belt in the case, and did not want to bend the arm to get him back wet shirt stick. The compass in the end they had to get it and make sure that we are too far to the right evaded. After some time Vershinin thought we shrink again, and I, his teeth chattering, again reached for the compass, and again had to turn. The sense of time and space faded. It seems that we are forever. The main concern of all had to keep a position of the body to the shirt from sticking to the body. This was the case when did not want to own shirt was closer to the body. Began to descend into some valley. It turned out Kurba River – a tributary Ogodzhi.
In dry weather, this little rechonku can go anywhere. Now it has spread and so raged that come close to it was terrible. Fortunately, we came to it near the mouth, where it is in the pursuit of bumping Ogodzhi quite deepened the channel and had high banks.
Began to make a bridge. Found high spruce and dumped in a stream. But I ate a dense crown, and as soon as the needles touched the water, the tree was picked up and carried away. After a long search found a high, but with a rare larch crown, knocking her, moved to the opposite side. It was getting dark. His eyes appeared greenish-gray haze, anonymize all objects and the distance … Wild gorge seemed quite gloomy twilight descended from the clouds, is completely closed even lower tops of hills and sought to combine with the waves of the river. "Then you can not go. It is necessary to spend the night, "- said firmly dirty. I tried to protest, as did not fancy spending the night in a state of half frozen in the cold rain. But to go into the darkness of the valley this was impossible. Vershinin immediately began to cut dry larch on the fire. Choose a place to sleep under a thick fir, barely misses rain. When the twigs for the fire had already spread, it became clear that they have nothing to burn. Treasured box of matches was wet. After hearing stories about the taiga dramas lack of matches and firmly grasp that in the forest the most important thing – matches, I always coast to a field bag box of matches, wrapped in birch bark. Of course, I immediately thought of this box, and overcoming a shiver from the cold, began to open the bag, looking forward, it is now merrily crackling fire, the heat will spread under the fir roof and can be thawed a little, take a break from a busy day. Finally bag open. Water! Birch bark box with floating around in the middle of the bag, but not fully wet. Stiff fingers frantically striking a match, trying to find at least a millimeter dry float, we took turns snatching each other's box. One after another flew head matches, and float turned into rags. A proven method of drying the hair matches gave nothing: all wet, both in Ogodzhe. We'll have a fire in the way Australians.
Dry larch felled, cut down two pieces and began to rub them on one another to numb fingers. Trees are hot, but light and not going. Together with drizzling rain began to fall apart croup. Wind, mingling with the roar of the river, whistling wind blowing into the valley. Dark – even pitch dark.
"Apparently, Australians are not extracted from larch fire", -stated Vershinin.
"Let's cut down trees, or okocheneem", – Dirty offers.
Axe passed from hand to hand. Waiting for the ax continued to rub the pieces of larch, "dried" matches, and no, no yes strike sharply, to make sure the spoiled one more match. Already it was clear that the match can not take fire, and yet they continued to strike sharply on long erased grater, hoping for a miracle. But the miracle did not happen. Hope flew away with the last match head.
One salvation – cut down trees. But the body is increasingly fettered dead tired. Possessed indifference to everything except the cold. Numbed fingers do not bend, the ax, making false attacks, to break out and see the hands. Of course, over time, cutting no time to warm up. Perfect darkness. Even the silhouettes of hills and trees to be seen. Revell Ogodzha. Fine rain was falling in half with barley. Wind gusts tried to finish another living organism. While waiting for their turn to cut, I stood leaning against the trunk of a fir shoulder, trying a little to hide him from the wind, and could not feel his body …
I open my eyes. I see nothing. Pitch black, but hear roars Ogodzha, grinding boulders. I was lying flat on his back. Face flogs croup. I push all three, tinder the face, hands and chest. Finding that missing all bask ax and does not respond to the call, comrades in the dark grope me and after much effort returned life numb body.