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Thread: Wilderness Chemistry

  1. #1 Wilderness Chemistry 
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    Yesterday, I found Auerbach's Wilderness Medicine text, which is aimed towards producing effective medical professionals when in the outdoors-- past the confines of the hospital or university lab. So, whether the doc is in the forest, or in the middle of the corporate jungle, ideally some action could be taken to improve the well-being of the sickly, diseased, or injured.

    Are there any books on wilderness chemistry? Not only would it be important to be able to check what elements make up potential food, but to show friends neat little tricks by quickly picking up dirt and a nearby miscellaneous object to ignite it, or show other cool phenomena, as well as the importance of understanding how to use the materials from the ground, such as ores, when we are not necessarily near our favorite sources of chemical information.

    What would you include in a book on wilderness chemistry? What tools would be important to construct? Could anybody synthesize some pest repellant? Lots of ideas here ... guess it would be a step closer to answering what an 'ultimate chemist' should know.

    - Bryan


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    I know this is not exactly what you are looking for but why not try and google 'bushcraft' which is the study and practise of living outdoors. Although this would not give you all your answers it would teach you how to "synthesize some pest repellant?"


    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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  4. #3 Results 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    I know this is not exactly what you are looking for but why not try and google 'bushcraft' which is the study and practise of living outdoors.
    Thank you; this helps. I found an interesting forum post over at the Geek Culture Forums, on things to know, should the world ever end. Seranak mentions John Wiseman's SAS Survival Handbook.

    Also found more great wilderness and survival books. The page even mentions some improvised explosives.

    There's the McLean DIY gunpowder cookbook:

    Do you want to know how to make your own gunpowder from such easily accessible items as dead cats, whiskey, "fools gold", your living room ceiling, manure, and maple syrup? This practical and safe approach shows you how to do it with simple hand tools and techniques that have been used for centuries. Gunpowder has many uses, and is practically essential in a long-term survival situation. This book covers everything from old U.S. government recipes for use by its espionage agents to the author's own tried-and-true methods using common tools and equipment. If available technology is unavailable or breaks down, only your stock of knowledge will get you through tough times. 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", softcover, illust., 80 pages. For information purposes only.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Sheane (Ireland)
    This book tells you exactly how to make gunpowder from manure, wood, baserock and many other simple around the house and free from the land type materials. I found this book very useful and informative.
    Also listed is an interesting "on the spot" munitions book from United States federal scientists (improvisation, etc.).

    Maybe one of the better books found on that page is Henley's Formulas for Home and Workshop - Containing 10,000 Scientific Formulas, Trade Secrets, Food and Chemical Recipes, rocesses and Money Saving Ideas:

    First published in 1927, this invaluable and comprehensive volume is a unique source of alphabetically-arranged information. Learn how to make adhesives, perfumes and cosmetics, wines, spirits and liquors, beverages, cider, dyes, alloys, vetinary formulas, soaps, fireworks, rust preventives, cheese, cement, ceramics, glazes, glass, explosives, paper, paints and 100's of other useful and essential items; discover useful workshop and laboratory methods, dozens of cleaning preparations and methods, formulas for fertiliser etc. An irreplaceable and money-saving reference work for the farmer, housewife, mechanic, handyman and survivalist. It can increase your independence and provide information that can be used to establish dozens of profitable home businesses!
    That would be an interesting source to pursue. Best result so far of this query session. And then there's the unfortunately pay-to-read Caveman Chemistry book (which otherwise sounds awesome).

    More:
    * Some very basic mineralogy / 'survival chemistry' (not nearly enough).
    * Disaster survival list, with at least one book on food chemistry.

    Anyway, I think I have exhausted the results of these particular queries that I have been using. I suppose it is only natural for most of these results to be related to disaster or survival. Fair enough. /me goes back to reading a Nikola Tesla biography. Ironically, the link immediately under 'More:' is hosted under the subdomain of 'tesla'. Heh.

    - Bryan
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    John Wiseman's SAS Survival Handbook.
    I've got that book, it's fantastic, he will show you everything you would ever need to know about surviving out in the wilderness, even what you should do after a nuclear explosion to increase your chances of survival.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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  6. #5 Linking over to 4hv.org 
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    It may be appropriate to point out related posts at 4hv.org on this same subject.

    -- Update 05/28/07:
    Some related information:

    http://science.slashdot.org/article....7/05/28/034201 `"This month's issue of Symmetry, a magazine jointly published by SLAC and Fermilab, is featuring an article that points out the sometimes extemporaneous and unconventional solutions physicists have come up with in (and out of) the laboratory. From the article: 'Leon Lederman ... used a pocket knife, tape, and items on anyone's grocery list to confirm that interactions involving the weak force do now show perfect mirror symmetry, or parity, as scientists had long assumed.'"`

    http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archiv...trapping_t.php
    http://www.lindsaybks.com/dgjp/djgbk/index.html Dave Gingery

    And any information on ores, extraction/purification techniques would be great.

    - Bryan
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