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Thread: To Build A Fire

  1. #1
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    To Build A Fire



    Jack London's "To Build A Fire"
    Starring Ian Hogg
    Narrated by Orson Welles
    Written, Produced and Directed by David Cobham
    First Broadcast: BBC 1969

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    I recall this was assigned reading in like fifth or sixth grade.

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    Yeah, I've been depressed ever since.

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    Our teacher walked us thru where The Man’s body temp would be at each part of the story and what else is going on in the body - like blood flow to the brain.

    As a kid who hunted, fished, skied I thought it was a good cautionary tale.

    It came back to mind in vivid color 15 years later when I fell into the McKenzie at 0700 on a brisk April AM.

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    I was just glad the dog noped out. Smart boy.

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    I show this to my Outdoor Ed. kids every year. We watch some Les Stroud, Touching the Void, some Mors Kochanski stuff etc. and this, all the while creating a 'survivor archetype.' Kids eat it up, especially up in Northern Canada where a lot of kids do some form of outdoor activity. Lots of version of the London classic out there but this has always been my fav.

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    The culture we all live in is so oriented now to quick cut, sensory overload delivery of content that it's interesting (and heartening) to hear that kids will sit and absorb something as slow paced and inner focused as the Welles' narrated film.

    I guess somewhere between "fortune favors the bold" and "pride goeth before a fall" there exists a middle path. Instances and ironies abound, in the boardroom as well as the backcountry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angle Parking View Post
    I show this to my Outdoor Ed. kids every year. We watch some Les Stroud, Touching the Void, some Mors Kochanski stuff etc. and this, all the while creating a 'survivor archetype.' Kids eat it up, especially up in Northern Canada where a lot of kids do some form of outdoor activity. Lots of version of the London classic out there but this has always been my fav.
    Good on you for putting them in touch with their environment.

    Do you tell them about Dick Proenneke?


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    Dont think Iíve seen/heard this but was completely transfixed reading the story back in high school. Def a cautionary tale and prob one of the first times I read something that turned out so bleak

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    Quote Originally Posted by TBS View Post
    Do you tell them about Dick Proenneke?
    Whew, man, that's a lot of work! And very fine work, at that! Beautiful, and impressive.

    One interesting fella, for sure. Thx for sharing.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke

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    Quote Originally Posted by fomofo View Post
    The culture we all live in is so oriented now to quick cut, sensory overload delivery of content that it's interesting (and heartening) to hear that kids will sit and absorb something as slow paced and inner focused as the Welles' narrated film.

    I guess somewhere between "fortune favors the bold" and "pride goeth before a fall" there exists a middle path. Instances and ironies abound, in the boardroom as well as the backcountry.
    Welle's narration is good in that.

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    Proenneke is pretty good at making a guy feel hugely inadequate.

    As for starting fires, this is why I tell people to throw all the bullshit boy scout merit badge firestarter shit away and carry some road flares. You don't want to fuck around when you need to build a fire fast in shitty conditions.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angle Parking View Post
    Welle's narration is good in that.
    His dulcet tones sold a lot of wine, too. Still, think maybe this smoothie may take the prize!



    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    Proenneke is pretty good at making a guy feel hugely inadequate.
    Wow, is he ever!

    Be it craftsman, athlete, musician, whatever, when I see someone manifest that much skill and will my first impulse is to seek out a dark corner and curl up in the fetal position. But I'll usually end up taking some inspiration from it, and crawl back out to resume my slow wallow in mediocrity.

    It is interesting to think that just a couple hundred years ago a lot of folks across the land were still building from scratch that way. And a hundred years ago they may have gotten a jump start from the sawmill, but everything was done by hand, without power tools. Hard, hard work. We are soft.

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    Iíve had Proenneke recommended to me many times, both for my own enjoyment and also for inclusion in my teaching. I have done neither but vow to check it out soon.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

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    Consider this your nth recommendation to watch Dick Proenneke. It's simultaneously very relaxing and extremely humbling.
    People here are typically assholes (it's part of the charm) - dan_pdx

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    It really is amazing. Not just what he does
    The fact that he took the time and effort to film himself.
    Cans of 8mm film
    By yourself.

    Todays survival shows are a joke in comparison

    His wiki page is well worth reading.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke

    https://www.nps.gov/lacl/learn/histo...ekes-cabin.htm

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    I read this in high school forestry vocational class. One of our assignments was to go out in the forest and build a fire with one match. Lucky to have cool teachers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post


    Todays survival shows are a joke in comparison
    I agree for the most part. And i'll add in the dozens of youtube 'survival guru's' to the list of fraudulent wankers.

    I contend that Les Stroud is legit however. I've met people who worked with him way back in his canoe tripping days and they contend he was 100% for real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angle Parking View Post
    I agree for the most part. And i'll add in the dozens of youtube 'survival guru's' to the list of fraudulent wankers.

    I contend that Les Stroud is legit however. I've met people who worked with him way back in his canoe tripping days and they contend he was 100% for real.
    He may be for real, but his Utah episode sure wasnít.

    https://outsidebynature.com/les-stroud-fake/

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    Quote Originally Posted by alias_rice View Post
    He may be for real, but his Utah episode sure wasn’t.

    https://outsidebynature.com/les-stroud-fake/
    Well, I guess that shatters my illusion of 'realness.' But Santa, that dude's for real. Not like that phony the Easter Bunny and the other fake holiday dudes.

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    My grand kids told me they don't believe in Santa so i asked well then how about Jeff Bezos ?

    They had not heard of Jeff Bezos so i pointed out he owns amazon and thats who really brings all them presents not Santa
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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    I tell kids that Santa retired to Maui, outsourced toy production to China and all logistics to FedEx. The elves were reassigned to R&D and the reindeer were sent to a nice farm.

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    1920s Alaskan Bowhunting adventure
    Primitive!
    Canoe made fro moose hide taken with a longbow at about 10:50


  24. #24
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    FYI, To Build A Fire is also streaming on Kanopy (free service if your library subscribes to it):

    https://www.kanopy.com/en/product/6161201
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

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