Author Topic: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?  (Read 979 times)

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Offline dieselcheese

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How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« on: December 31, 2018, 09:41:10 pm »
We're getting an amazing amount of snow for our area, and I'm getting a bit of cabin fever.  My wood burning stove is down for a maintenance issue (leaking creosote out of the outermost layer of double walled chimney,  but that's a story for a different day).

Anyway,  I'm pondering fire, and how much I want one right now as the snow falls.  That got me thinking...how did stone age people store up significant amounts of winter fuel? 

Was it mostly deadfall?  Did they actually chop down and split wood from trees with stone axes?  Did the plains Indians gather a cord of buffalo dung for each teepee?
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Offline DC

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 10:03:07 am »
That's always made me wonder. Without a saw, cutting wood becomes very labour intensive. Depending on how much wood they used they could deplete a area of deadfalls pretty quick. Maybe they didn't use much more in the winter. Maybe they just dressed warmer and sucked it up.
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Offline EdwardS

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 04:29:24 pm »
Most of the time they didn't heat large spaces, and hides to insulate helped as well.  Smaller, better insulated spaces take less wood to heat.

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 08:01:28 pm »
Make small fire, get close!  According to Laubin, the tipi was insulated with grass stuffed between the liner and the shin, and sometimes the liner was pulled in , an Ozan was put up over the bed lots of hair on hides were put on the floor and hung around the liner. And the smoke flaps were closed.  We kept our tipi relatively warm with just a fire when temps were in the 20's,   Also the nomadic tribes usually broke down to much smaller winter bands.  The more permanent bands apparently put up wood all summer.
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Offline dieselcheese

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2019, 05:21:30 am »
Hawkdancer, is there further reading on this? I've pretty much got nothing to do and all day to do it so I wouldn't mind reading a good book or a cool website.

BTW, at my place in the mountains of N. New Mexico  we ended up with over 3 feet of snow, drifts up to 5 feet.  This is an interesting situation for this desert rat family from the lower elevations of the Arizona desert.
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Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 06:30:07 am »
 Reginald Laubin "The Indian Tipi", University of Oklahoma Press(I think).  He mentions the location of the wood pile inside the lodge and the insulating, but I don't remember if he covered the heavy work of gathering.    Haven't seen 3 feet of snow here in a number of years, don't want to either!  We got less than an inch, we're overdue.  I know the area around there is in a severe drought pattern.  Puppies, kids and international students from dry climates really enjoy the snow, first time at least!.  Where are you in relation Santa Fe?
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Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 12:55:52 pm »
A lot of dead wood can be collected in the form of large branches, small trees and possibly they made a practice of creating dead wood nearby by removing the bark from around the base of small trees.  The idea of chopping trees down and splitting with stone doesn't seem practical to me.  Small trees and large branches on the other hand can be broken easily enough with a large rock
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Offline dieselcheese

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 04:18:33 pm »
Where are you in relation Santa Fe?

I'm in Los Alamos, about 45 mins north west of Santa Fe.

I'll see if my library has that book.  Because of our location and demographics I would imagine they do have a copy.

My next question,  and maybe ot deserves its own thread, but what about latrines?  And especially,  latrines in winter months?
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Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2019, 07:47:19 pm »
The Mandan and Hidatsa built earth lodges, partially dug down into the ground. Four large corner posts, then layers of logs, bundles of willows, grasses, and then a thick layer of dirt and the sod is reseeded onto the outer surface.  A center smoke hole, double doors to insulate from wind blowing through.  With the large thermal mass and deep insulation they stayed warm in the winters with small central fires.

Coincidentally, they were also decently cool in the summer. Especially since they also watered the floors then to keep the dust down. The evaporative cooling effect was pretty efficient.
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Offline GlisGlis

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 05:11:09 am »
@dieselcheese

All this practical aspects of everyday life also fascinate me
Dont know about toilets but in general I think the word for ancient people was "LESS"
Smaller fire, Less wood to collect and process, smaller shelters, less objects to carry and store...
Looking at the first inuit videos looks like they could live in igloo with virtually no or very small fire.
So it had to be a mix of building good shelters knowledge and resistence to cold

Offline Ed Brooks

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Re: How did primative people put away wood for the winter?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 09:02:04 am »
Our family had old letters talking about the natives using fire to fall trees.
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