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Darkshore
04-07-2012, 09:24 PM
Is it possible to skin and animal in the field and use it's hide for warmth without tanning it? Bit of a survival portion in my novel. The character is a very experienced hunter so skill isn't a question. I'm sure it could be done, but I'm wondering how long the hide would last?

MaryMumsy
04-07-2012, 09:46 PM
I have no experience, but it is going to depend on things like what kind of animal and how well your person cleans the inside. Since it is cold enough to need it for warmth, I would think a week or so. If I needed a hide for warmth a bear or bison would be nice :D

We have a member who lives off the grid up north somewhere. I can't think of his handle right now. Maybe he'll wander along. I bet he would know.

MM

Wicked
04-07-2012, 10:34 PM
I'm pretty sure it would need to be cured in some manner or it would turn into a giant chunk of rawhide as soon as it dried.

If the temperatures are below freezing, then it probably wouldn't have time to dry and just turn into a giant frozen skinsicle because of the moisture in the hide. Which would be essentially the same result.


When my friend gets a fresh skin she doesn't have time to tan, she salts it, rolls it up, and keeps it in the freezer until she has time to work it.

lbender
04-07-2012, 10:55 PM
If you're talking about a big animal, he could just use the whole animal for warmth. Slice it open and get inside. Messy, but it'll take a while to cool down.

The hide should help by itself for warmth, but it wouldn't last too long. I don't know how long, though.

Bushrat
04-07-2012, 11:09 PM
What lbender said. Problem is, it would obly work for a few hours and afterwards you'd be covered in blood and grime, ie wet which equals cold.
A green (fresh, untanned) hide is hideously heavy. Once it dries, it becomes as stiff as solid cardboard, so your character couldn't wrap it around himself and walk around, if that's what you had in mind. As for placing it on himself like a blanket, I guess he could use the fur side of the green hide. However, once it dries (1-2 days, depending on temperature and weather conditions), it'd be like balancing a sheet of stiff cardboard on himself.

BDSEmpire
04-07-2012, 11:10 PM
Ugh, I've skinned a few game animals and the thought of using an uncured hide is seriously gross. If you had nothing else available then sure, you'll do anything to keep alive.

Unfortunately, once you have the skin off the underside is full of fat and bits of blood and other remnants of where it used to be attached to the critter. Flipping it over so you just have the fur side against you will help but all that meat is going to rot and stink to high heaven in short order.

Bleah.

Snick
04-07-2012, 11:44 PM
Then there's the matter of it attracting scavengers and vermin. Without salting or tanning it wouldn't last long, but it would be warmer than nothing.

MaryMumsy
04-07-2012, 11:55 PM
Bushrat! You are the one I was thinking of.

MM



What lbender said. Problem is, it would obly work for a few hours and afterwards you'd be covered in blood and grime, ie wet which equals cold.
A green (fresh, untanned) hide is hideously heavy. Once it dries, it becomes as stiff as solid cardboard, so your character couldn't wrap it around himself and walk around, if that's what you had in mind. As for placing it on himself like a blanket, I guess he could use the fur side of the green hide. However, once it dries (1-2 days, depending on temperature and weather conditions), it'd be like balancing a sheet of stiff cardboard on himself.

Darkshore
04-08-2012, 01:04 AM
Lot's of good info here :D.

Well I really only need it to last a couple of hours I suppose. This man survives one night half naked in the cold by the heat of a fire, the next day he sets up a few traps to try and catch some food. This is when he discovers he's being hunted. A beast like a large wolf.

Long story short the man manages to kill the beast and skins it, taking its hide for what little warmth he can and begins trekking through the woods in search of any form of civilization.

I'd like him to stumble upon a small village while wearing this beasts hide. The village takes him in as a hero. They'd been having trouble with this beast for years and so far no one had been able to hunt and kill it successfully.

From what I hear it sounds like it would be plausible for him to do this?

Cath
04-08-2012, 01:10 AM
Yes, gross but plausible.

Rufus Coppertop
04-08-2012, 02:31 AM
What lbender said.

You've done a fantastic job on tanning the hide you're wearing in your avatar pic!

Bushrat
04-08-2012, 03:24 AM
This is when he discovers he's being hunted. A beast like a large wolf.

Ugh. Wolves do not hunt people. That's a ridiculous myth that for whatever reason won't die, please please please do not propagate it.

Please make that a different animal. Male black bears occasionally stalk humans as prey (a lot less frequently than humans stalk humans, but anyway). That would make your storyline somewhat more believable.

Fenika
04-08-2012, 04:25 AM
Adding to the skin side out. Also, it will take time to get the fat and flesh off the HEAVY hide. Skin is the largest organ you know.

If the animal is lean, then at least your character will only have to skin and deflesh. The remainder will still be heavy.

And fyi, skinning wrong will dull the knife. Same with butchering wrong. Then you cant scrape the hide well.

And a dry hide can be stiffer than cardboard *glares at permanently folded deer hide* If anyone knows how to fix a hide, please PM me.

Lastly, youtube is your friend.

jclarkdawe
04-08-2012, 05:13 AM
I'm doubting he would use the skin for warmth. Hell of a lot of work for a minimum result. Assuming for whatever reason he can't do a fire again, I'd look for small caves, crevasses in rocks, low spots in the ground, a fallen tree, or other natural block for protection on one side. Then leaves or branches on the other side. If he's got the tools for skinning, he can create a reasonable shelter in a lot less time.

However, I could see him skinning the critter as a trophy. I'd see him spending some time doing it as right as possible, which if he has a knife, water, fire (to create ash), and some time to work the hide, he can do a reasonable job of the process.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Darkshore
04-08-2012, 09:36 AM
Ugh. Wolves do not hunt people. That's a ridiculous myth that for whatever reason won't die, please please please do not propagate it.

Please make that a different animal. Male black bears occasionally stalk humans as prey (a lot less frequently than humans stalk humans, but anyway). That would make your storyline somewhat more believable.

I understand this :D. But this is a Fantasy novel set in a different world. It's a Wolf type creature, but it's not your garden variety wolf, and it certainly doesn't hunt in packs. But maybe this idea just seemed cool in my head. I mean this guy is supposed to be pretty experienced. He'd certainly use the creature for whatever meat he could, but if it doesn't make sense for him to skin it for makeshift clothing I guess I could scrap it. The guys basically naked though, I'd think he'd at least want to give it the good ole college try.

The only tool he has though is a Dagger/Knife. And he only has that because it was stuck into the meat of his thigh before he ended up overboard the ship, (I have reasons for his survival/why things didn't eat him/why he didn't die from the wound).