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14

I think the Audubon Field Guides smartphone apps are fantastic. At least, they are a great improvement over the printed guides -- more species, more photos, lengthier descriptions, and smaller than the book. The apps help make identification relatively easy because you can search for trees in your region and leaf shape, for example, and get a smaller set of ...


10

Yes, some does burn toxic, notably: Oleander Rhododendron Poison Ivy (smoke can cause lung damage in some cases) I'm not sure of a comprehensive list, but be wary of any poisonous wood / shrub, it's probably more likely to burn toxic. As pointed out in the comment, unless you can identify vines well then it may be a good idea to stay away from all of ...


8

Interesting question! Here is an article describing the techniques used by arborists. The article describes a number of different techniques and different pieces of gear. I'll describe one specific method, using cheap gear, that is based on techniques that I've used in rock climbing. Buy: a short length (maybe 20 m) of 9-10 mm static climbing rope a small ...


7

Moss grows best in the shade (and damp, but most relevant here is shade). Because of the curvature of the Earth, in the northern hemisphere the north side of trees is shadier than the south side, so if moss grows on only one side of a tree, it is likely to be the north side. In the southern hemisphere, the whole thing is mirrored so the moss is on the south ...


6

I know that on the east coast, a couple of the park services have been pushing the climbing community to install bolt anchors as a replacement for nests of old slings around trees. This is in part because slinging anchors around trees can damage the bark, and sometimes eventually kill the tree. This shift from webbing anchors around trees to bolted rappel ...


5

Many pine woods will leave your food tasting of turpentine. Depending on the wood, it won't be enough to be toxic, but will still (imo) be a very unpleasant flavor. Generally, due to my experience (in the southeast) this has developed into "don't use evergreens." Avoid woods with much rot. Avoid wood with mosses, fungus, etc. Burn larger diameter wood ...


4

I lived in Yosemite for over a year and saw TONS of tree belay stations. Most of them were there to stay with a number of slings and belay rings attached "for good". Yosemite had a number of bolts getting chopped by other climbers for using power drills rather than hand drills, so the ethics as far as acceptance in using trees was not a problem, or I would ...


4

I think if you're seeing damage your concern is valid. I do recall reading that soil compaction is the bigger problem and different rigging won't help that. You could use a "friction saver" as shown in the following video, saving both the tree and your rope from wear. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8lXy1hn1UU


4

There's no safe wood I've found that's made food taste really bad - generally if it does taste absolutely foul I'd be wary that something else was up. In the grand scheme of things though, it depends what you class as "bad". Different people prefer different flavours, and in that sense using different types of wood can definitely make foods taste different. ...


2

Moss prefers damp locations irrespective of facing. You need to cut out a few variables before you can use moss as a pretty reliable method to determine North: Ignore moss on the ground. The ground is usually damp due to water evaporating. Ignore moss that's growing on an incline. An incline slows water run off so the area stays damper for longer. Ignore ...


1

There's some truth to it in that moss prefers shady areas rather than directly sunny ones, so (in the northern hemisphere) since the north is the generally more shady part, you'd assume moss will be more likely to grow on the north of the tree. For me though, it's nothing more than a curious fact rather than anything to reliably use in terms of orientation ...



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