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Author Topic: Things missing ?  (Read 2428 times)

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January 09, 2021, 06:17:49 PM
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DAXXY

Guest
I would have thought they would have included Signal Whistles, Signal Mirrors, Magnifying Glass (for fire starting and injuries to eyes etc.) and  a digging tool.  They new they were going in to snow and might have to dig, there was an avalanche risk. After W.W.2. there must have been small military digging tools available.  Also the procedures for mountain safety would have come out of the military who would have been familiar with signal mirrors and whistles.

University equipment

№   Description   Qty   
√   1   Tent 12-seater   1 √   
√   2   Stove(have to get it.   1 √   
√   3   Two-hand saw   1 √   + 1
√   4   Ax 2   2 + 1 m.   
√   5   Buckets   2   √
√   6   Bucket lid   1   √
7   Ice ax   1   
√   8   Ladle   1   Zina?
√   9   First aid kit   1   
10   Repair kit (household)   1   Rustik
11   Spair skis –   1 p   √
12   Radio receiver   1   ?
13   Flashlights 1 zhuchok + 1 chinese   4   
14   Candles   5 pcs   
15   Matches   10 boxes   
16   Camera   3   
17   Warmer   4   Flasks
18   Compass   4   
19   Food bags      √
20   Map case bag   1   ?
21   Map and copies of maps      
22   Trek diary   1   
23   Route topos   1   
24   Thermometer   1   √
25   Cord l=20 м   1

Personal gear
№   Description   Qty
1   Hiking backpack   1
2   Boots with spare laces   1
3   Felt boots   1
4   Gaiters ?   1
5   Woolen socks   3 p
6   Cotton socks   3 p
7   Suit ski and storm   1
8   Quilted jacket with belt   1
9   Woolen sweater   2
10   Gauntlets   2 p
11   Hat   1
12   Balaclava   1
13   Bowl, spoon, knife   1
14   Toiletries   1
15   Notepad, pencil   1
16   Matches in a tin box   1
17   Individual package   1
18   Blanket   1
19   Spare trousers   1
20   Two pairs of underwear   1
21   Warm scarf   1
22   Skis and poles   1
23   Shoes covers   1
24   (Diameter) rope d 8 mm   1
25   Insoles   1
26   Matches   1
27   Compass   1


Contents of the repair kit:

1   Pliers √   1
2   Screwdriver √   1
3   An awl √   1
4   File –   1
5   Needles √   10
6   Bar –   1
7   Shoe-thread √   15 m
8   Nails √ – shoemakers - find   0.5 kg
9   Screws √   40 pcs
10   Spare fasteners √   1 p
11   Cord, lacing √   1
12   Wire √   1
13   Buttons √   10
14   Canvas and cloth patches √   5
15   String №10 √   2
16   Insulating tape –   1
17   Polish for shoes √ and skis √   10
18   Plywood –   5
19   Tin √   
20   Skin √   
21   Brichete firelighter –   5

First aid kit

1   Sterile bandages   10
2   Sterile wadding   100 g
3   Scissors   1
4   Alcohol   0.5 l
5   Ammonium alcohol in ampoules   5
6   Iodine in ampoules   10
7   Aspirin 0.5 g   30 pcs
8   Vitamins   10
9   Pyramidone 0.3   20
10   Streptocide 0.5   20
11   Vaseline   100 g
12   Ichthyol   20 g
13   Adhesive plaster   1 pcs
14   Purgen 1 g   10 pcs

vodka
Indian tea
tea bricks (compressed)
matches

In The Store


fire wood, covered with planks and spruce debris. In the storage one ski is propped in the snow and a torn gaiter is slipped onto it,

Condensed milk 2.5 kg
Meat canned banks 4 kg
Sugar - 8 kg
Butter - 4 kg
Cooked sausage - 4 kg
Salt - 1.5 kg
Kissel-compote - 3 kg
Oatmeal and buckwheat 7.5 kg
Cocoa 200 g
Coffee - 200 g
Tea - 200 g
Loin - 3 kg
Milk powder - 1 kg
Sugar - 3 kg
Crackers - 7 kg and Noodles - 5 kg
Also found:
mandolin, a pair of shoes 41 size, and worn socks inside, a pair of insulated boots, mounting set, 2 batteries mounted with the bulb for lighting

The Tent

 The campsite is a snow-leveled area with 8 pairs of skis at the bottom. The tent is stretched out on ski poles, fixed with ropes, 9 backpacks with various personal belongings of the group members were laid down at the bottom of the tent, quilted jackets, storm jackets were put on top,
9 pairs of felt boots were found where the heads must have been,
men's trousers were also found,
and three pairs of felt boots,
warm fur coats,
socks,
hat,
ski caps,
 utensils,
buckets,
stove,
ax,
saw,
blankets,
food:
biscuits in two bags,
condensed milk,
sugar,
concentrates,
notebooks,
itinerary and many other small items and documents,
camera and accessories to a camera.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 04:50:45 AM by DAXXY »
 

January 09, 2021, 10:25:47 PM
Reply #1
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Ziljoe


Good points about no shovel and whistles Daxxy , and useful to see a list of equipment in one place.


We still use whistles today? They may have had them but they but they are not listed plus I thought they had some kind of cooking device. Alcohol stove maybe to heat water for the coco, coffee etc.they must have had means to heat food with out the wood stove.

I also read on another forum that there were only ever 3 cameras. The confusion comes from the camera case round Zolotaryov's neck.
 

January 10, 2021, 06:22:23 AM
Reply #2

DAXXY

Guest
Was the vodka for the alcohol stove.??   You can get high alcohol Vodka.

Also I can't see them seeing the need to list Vodka on a planning list.  If it was drinking vodka they could have picked some up at a village shop. 
I don't think they were drinking it. Liquid is heavy and carrying liquid on expedition just to drink doesn't seem to go with their mentality. Also drinking alcohol in cold climates is risky, and makes people colder. 

When you drink, it dilates the peripheral blood vessels near your skin, which means more blood – and heat – flows to these vessels. That takes blood and heat away from the core of your body. So while it feels like you’re warm because your skin is warm, your vital organs aren’t as warm as you might think they are.


« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 06:40:37 AM by DAXXY »
 

January 10, 2021, 06:54:57 AM
Reply #3
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Ziljoe


The cold has never stopped me drinking but that's another story bigjoke

They might have had a shot or two but I doubt they would have enough to have any consequences and liquid is heavy as you say.

I was thinking they couldn't camp up there without a heat source. Drinking water, tea, food etc. The ham would be frozen. There was porridge or oats found in a cup and everything was in place. They would need to warm stuff up unless they were haven't pork lcelolly for breakfast?
 

January 10, 2021, 07:35:02 AM
Reply #4

DAXXY

Guest
This could be the alcohol stove in action.  In the hole so it's out of the wind.  Melting snow to make drinks and porridge.  This is from their 1958 sub-polar expedition.




 

January 10, 2021, 08:06:51 AM
Reply #5
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Ziljoe


Could be Daxxy. Definitely cooking something. My father had a primus stove, he used to do a lot of mountain climbing in the snow. In old cavas gear. In fact much of the gear here looks the same for the 70's in the UK. All wool and canvas rucksacks etc. Not as cold but a lot wetter. I still have is ice ax and it's the same as the one Zolotaryov was carrying or very similar.
 

January 10, 2021, 11:48:53 AM
Reply #6

DAXXY

Guest
Could be Daxxy. Definitely cooking something. My father had a primus stove, he used to do a lot of mountain climbing in the snow. In old cavas gear. In fact much of the gear here looks the same for the 70's in the UK. All wool and canvas rucksacks etc. Not as cold but a lot wetter. I still have is ice ax and it's the same as the one Zolotaryov was carrying or very similar.

Primus were great, good on fishing trips.  It's always been an issue of weight with hikers stoves and fuel.  The British army steered away from liquids with the little dry hexamine tablet stove.  Yes I suppose it all evolved from earlier knowledge from people that lived and worked in cold places.  Farmers, Gamekeepers, Fishermen etc..Plus knowledge gained by the military overseas in mountain areas in WW2. Low tech.  All about keeping dry, not sweating, air spaces for warmth, using layers of clothing. Even packing clothes or boots with newspaper.

 Semyon Zolotaryov Had a rolled up newspaper in his back trouser pocket.
https://dyatlovpass.com/case-files-349-351?rbid=17743

Years ago I went to Holland to a fishing village where some people were dressed in traditional clothes which included a pair of trousers (pants) that had excess material but fitted fine at the waist. The reason for them was in case the fisherman went in the sea or got soaked in rain the trousers had a good air space between the wearers skin and the wet clothing.  Wind would help dry the flapping trousers and being wool they would remain warm. Like all fishing communities they also had their own version of a wool Sweater called a Gansey.








« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 12:12:20 PM by DAXXY »
 

January 10, 2021, 01:24:50 PM
Reply #7
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Ziljoe


Now that is big pants!

I saw about Zolotaryov's news paper. Could be about toilet paper I guess. But once paper gets wet it's done.

We are lucky weight wise in modern days. The dyatlov groups kit would have been heavy from their skis to tripod to clothes.

Great to see the tourists had done many things and a lot of happiness in previous expeditions involving women too. Education and opportunities. Ahead of the west in that respect?

 

January 10, 2021, 05:09:18 PM
Reply #8

DAXXY

Guest
It's interesting.  Yes they had great experiences.  They were interested in meeting different people and seeing how they live and their culture. There seems to be a nice group or collective spirit.  They were all were happy to be doing what they were doing.  Different political systems filter down different things to the population I guess.  Communist and Capitalist governments and neither one could tolerate any aspects of the other, resulting in the cold war.  Rather than a cold war couldn't we have had some sort of cultural compromise ? What would the world be like now if Russia and the west had decided to join together and move forward with only the best aspects of each society ?

 In the late fifties in the UK it was beginning to be more about the individual than the group mentality of the second world war.  Although we were building social housing and a national health system and had nationalized rail, utilities, and industry it was socialism not communism.  Wealthy private land owners didn't want hikers on their land. UK had a 'class thing' going on too. Did Russia have a class system ? Maybe that's the big difference.

In UK we had the Scouts or Guides for Girls for children.  Then it was left to things like cycling or hiking clubs or kayaking clubs which were based on the individual activities, and also how much money an individual had for their equipment etc.  From the 1930's we had the youth hostels (a German idea) and the Ramblers Association.

'In 1931, the National Council of Ramblers' Federations was formed because walkers felt that a national body to represent their interests was needed. On 24 April 1932, the Communist-inspired British Workers' Sports Federation, frustrated at the lack of resolve of the newly formed Ramblers, staged a mass trespass of Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District'.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ramblers#History

Universities must have had there own groups that did activities. Plus there was much less car ownership so travel out of the towns to do things took time. It wasn't until the sixties that we started to see mass car ownership, package holidays, TV's in every home and telephones. 

We had national service going on also, so many people might have been put off hiking and camping after enduring route marches and military training.

Yes in the west we separated the sexes more.  The girls would have had their own tent.
And yes heavy kit but they had a good system, and it was the best they had at the time. They worked around problems.  Like storing lots of weight in the store before climbing to the pass.  Using trucks and horse sleds.   
But didn't the Russian army have women in front line service in WW2 ?  I heard they had women snipers.



 

January 10, 2021, 05:28:03 PM
Reply #9
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Ziljoe


Daxxy. Beautifully explained.

 

January 10, 2021, 06:20:18 PM
Reply #10
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Mark II


Daxxy, yes they had female snipers and I think they had plane pilots too (it was a specific squadron that flew rocket bombers)
 

January 11, 2021, 05:44:27 AM
Reply #11
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Nigel Evans


Some curious comments here in defence of the Soviet era. Lets not forget the harsh brutality of it. Hundreds of thousands of people executed because they might be hostile to the ruling regime. Millions condemned to live out awful lives in the gulags for simply expressing an opinion. The only reason that western europe doesn't speak Russian as a first language is that the US developed the atomic bomb first. The Manhattan project saved the free world.


Churchill's quote "You cannot negotiate with a tiger" was aimed at Nazi Germany but equally applied to the post WW2 era.
 

January 11, 2021, 07:57:28 AM
Reply #12
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Ziljoe


I don't think it's in defence of anything, Just an observation of some young happy people.There are a lot of smiles even with the searchers humour is expressed in many of the photos.

I wouldn't say many western countries have a monopoly on being squeaky clean.
 
 

January 11, 2021, 09:47:21 AM
Reply #13
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Nigel Evans



I wouldn't say many western countries have a monopoly on being squeaky clean.
I'd agree but no western political regime has plumbed anywhere near the depths of communist regimes, even Nazi Germany didn't treat it's own countrymen like Soviet Russia did.

For instance compare the experience of David Bohm :- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bohm#McCarthyism_and_leaving_the_United_Stateswith Aleksandr Solzhenitsynhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Solzhenitsyn#Imprisonment

I'm just saying let's keep it real.

 

January 11, 2021, 11:14:12 AM
Reply #14
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Ziljoe


Last time I looked nazi Germany treated all kinds of people badly, so I don't think you meant what you said. And western political regime's have been tramping around the globe causing havoc and treating other humans poorly for a while now. It's not a competition,every country has blood on its hands.

You should Wikipedia this guy ,
Julian Assange.

I'm not sure what's real but let's stick to the topic.
 

January 11, 2021, 12:52:36 PM
Reply #15
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Nigel Evans


I'm not sure what's real but let's stick to the topic.
Agreed.
 

January 12, 2021, 01:26:20 PM
Reply #16
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
I would have thought they would have included Signal Whistles, Signal Mirrors, Magnifying Glass (for fire starting and injuries to eyes etc.) and  a digging tool.  They new they were going in to snow and might have to dig, there was an avalanche risk. After W.W.2. there must have been small military digging tools available.  Also the procedures for mountain safety would have come out of the military who would have been familiar with signal mirrors and whistles.

University equipment

№   Description   Qty   


√   4   Ax 2   2 + 1 m.   


12   Radio receiver   1   ?
   
   
   
16   Camera   3   

They had enough matches to start fires. Could the Ax have been used as a digging tool ! ? They had more than 3 Cameras. Radio receiver ! ? Good list of stuff all in one place though.   
DB
 

January 12, 2021, 01:27:32 PM
Reply #17
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
Good points about no shovel and whistles Daxxy , and useful to see a list of equipment in one place.


We still use whistles today? They may have had them but they but they are not listed plus I thought they had some kind of cooking device. Alcohol stove maybe to heat water for the coco, coffee etc.they must have had means to heat food with out the wood stove.

I also read on another forum that there were only ever 3 cameras. The confusion comes from the camera case round Zolotaryov's neck.
[/quote

The Evidence suggests that there were more than 3 Cameras.
DB
 

January 12, 2021, 01:29:23 PM
Reply #18
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
Was the vodka for the alcohol stove.??   You can get high alcohol Vodka.

Also I can't see them seeing the need to list Vodka on a planning list.  If it was drinking vodka they could have picked some up at a village shop. 
I don't think they were drinking it. Liquid is heavy and carrying liquid on expedition just to drink doesn't seem to go with their mentality. Also drinking alcohol in cold climates is risky, and makes people colder. 

When you drink, it dilates the peripheral blood vessels near your skin, which means more blood – and heat – flows to these vessels. That takes blood and heat away from the core of your body. So while it feels like you’re warm because your skin is warm, your vital organs aren’t as warm as you might think they are.

Depends on how much alcohol is consumed. A shot of Whiskey is good for most people.
DB
 

January 12, 2021, 01:31:11 PM
Reply #19
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
The cold has never stopped me drinking but that's another story bigjoke

They might have had a shot or two but I doubt they would have enough to have any consequences and liquid is heavy as you say.

I was thinking they couldn't camp up there without a heat source. Drinking water, tea, food etc. The ham would be frozen. There was porridge or oats found in a cup and everything was in place. They would need to warm stuff up unless they were haven't pork lcelolly for breakfast?

They had a Stove.
DB
 

January 12, 2021, 01:33:27 PM
Reply #20
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
Could be Daxxy. Definitely cooking something. My father had a primus stove, he used to do a lot of mountain climbing in the snow. In old cavas gear. In fact much of the gear here looks the same for the 70's in the UK. All wool and canvas rucksacks etc. Not as cold but a lot wetter. I still have is ice ax and it's the same as the one Zolotaryov was carrying or very similar.

I have used such stuff when camping in the 1960's. Crude but relatively effective.
DB
 

January 12, 2021, 01:42:18 PM
Reply #21
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
Some curious comments here in defence of the Soviet era. Lets not forget the harsh brutality of it. Hundreds of thousands of people executed because they might be hostile to the ruling regime. Millions condemned to live out awful lives in the gulags for simply expressing an opinion. The only reason that western europe doesn't speak Russian as a first language is that the US developed the atomic bomb first. The Manhattan project saved the free world.


Churchill's quote "You cannot negotiate with a tiger" was aimed at Nazi Germany but equally applied to the post WW2 era.

Well I wouldnt say that exactly. I think the facts speak for themselves. We all know that the Communist experiment in the USSR didnt work out, for whatever reason. The spirit of comradeship seems to be a common denominator for Humans.
DB
 

January 15, 2021, 02:06:24 PM
Reply #22
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Jean Daniel Reuss



Answer and comment for : DAXXY - Ziljoe - sarapuk 

Yes, I have also noticed what I think are anomalies in the lists.
       https://dyatlovpass.com/case-files-199-208
It is possible that the hikers may have taken along some equipment that was not listed.

 •••  snow shovel
What surprises me is that nowhere is there any mention of a light and wide shovel, which would certainly be useful for levelling, digging, clearing..... snow every time the tent has to be set up.

 •••  metal containers
In the same way, there does not seem to have been any mention of metal containers that can be put on the fire: pot, casserole, cauldron, or bowl....

 •••  axes
This is not very clear "Ax 2   2 + 1 m."  or in Russian "Топор 2    2 + 1 м. "
There was probably, but I am not sure:
   2 short-handled axes to cut branches for firewood.
   1 axe with a 1 metre long handle that is used with both hands. Possibility of cutting large whole tree trunks.

 •••  the salt in the labaz
I do not know why the hikers had 1.5 kg of salt (which they left in the labaz).
These 1.5 kg of salt seems to me to be too much. This is strange.

 ••• Alcohol stove
For this kind of winter hike an efficient heating system  (or cooking device) is essential for:
   • melting the snow to obtain drinkable liquid
   • cooking noodles or pasta (Noodles - 5 kg)
   • defrost the food (and preferably heat it up to 40°C )

I think that there were 2 stoves that should not be confused :
  1) The suspended wood stove to heat the tent. This stove was designed and manufactured by Dyatlov.
  2) An alcohol stove for melting snow and cooking for 9 peoples. This stove is listed with number 2 in the University equipment list under the mention "Stove(have to get it. 1".

As a consequence, what is listed with number 2 in the  " University equipment "  list under the mention N° 17:
Warmer 4 Flasks is probably 4 cans of methylated spirits of unknown capacity.
Based on the amount of heat needed to melt the snow, I think that what is translated as "flask" is a can of at least 3 liters.

 ••• A few extras about alcohol stoves

Here there were 3 kinds of use for alcohol.

 1) - A bit of vodka to drink ( it is good for the mood ?). Generally the alcohol content of a vodka is between 40° and 50°, I think ?
 2) - Pharmacy alcohol at 90°, especially for skin disinfection.
 3) - Alcohol fuel à 95°: In France it is denatured. In Russia I do not know.
Denatured alcohol is ethanol that has additives (often with the addition of 3 % of methanol) to make it poisonous, bad-tasting, foul-smelling, or nauseating to discourage recreational consumption. Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent and as fuel for alcohol burners and camping stoves. See for example :
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_stove
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverage-can_stove

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

 •  Ethanol also called simply alcohol
It is a mixture of ethanol with 5% water that is usually produced industrially, as 100% anhydrous alcohol is much more difficult to make.
     C2H5OH
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol
    (5000 kcal/liter)   26.8 MJ/kg)

 • Methanol also known as methyl alcohol
     CH3OH
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol
Because of its toxic properties, methanol is frequently used as a denaturant additive for ethanol manufactured for industrial uses.
   (4300 kcal/liter)

 2 Other solid fuels for camping

 • Metaldehyde  also called  Meta
     C8H16O4
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaldehyde   

 • Hexamethylenetetramine  also called  Tetramine : plus énergétique et non toxique contrairement au meta
     C6H12N4
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexamethylenetetramine
   (30,0 MJ/kg)
 

 ••• To take into account the remark of Mark II   

Indeed, during the Second World War there were many women who fought in the ranks of the Soviet army.

      A less deadly anecdote :
At recruiting offices, women had theirs braids cut off and were put into men’s uniforms, as there were none tailored to fit women.

The airwomen called the Night Witches, on Polikarpov Po-2, and the female snipers were particularly remarkable for their courage and efficiency.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Witches
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polikarpov_Po-2
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/ussr-women-snipers.html

Jean Daniel Reuss

Rational guidance =

• There is nothing supernatural and mysterious about the injuries suffered by the Dyatlov group. They are all consistent with an attack by a group of professional killers who wanted to take the lives of the nine  [Per Inge Oestmoen].

• Now let us search for answers to: WHO ? WHY ? HOW ?

• The scenario must be consistent with the historical, political and psychological  contexts.

• The solution takes in consideration all known findings.
 

January 16, 2021, 02:38:10 PM
Reply #23
Offline

Ziljoe


Thanks Jean Daniel Reuss.

I've read so much  that I can barely remember what I think is fact or fiction.

I agree about the salt. Seems a lot and also the lack of a shovel. I would have thought that was a basic required tool in the snow.

I can't remember seeing or reading anything about water bottles/ containers.

I'm sure they would have drank on the way and maybe slept with these flasks/bottles to stop water from freezing.
 

January 17, 2021, 05:14:38 PM
Reply #24

DAXXY

Guest
1.5 kg of salt could be for preserving any meat or fish that they caught to eat later, or possibly melting some ice on a river to fish, or melting ice on a slope to make it safer to cross.  Or maybe as a gift to local people who may find it useful but hard to get. 
 

January 17, 2021, 05:58:26 PM
Reply #25
Offline

Manti


Regarding 1.5kg of salt, maybe it was the smallest package you could get in those times? There wasn't the kind of choice available in supermarkets like there is now, especially not in a provincial town in Siberia.
 

January 17, 2021, 09:58:47 PM
Reply #26
Offline

mk


I do not know why the hikers had 1.5 kg of salt (which they left in the labaz).
These 1.5 kg of salt seems to me to be too much. This is strange.
At first glance it does seem like quite a lot, and there's a good chance they used it for more than just eating (as Daxxy pointed out). On the other hand, remember that they had expected to have 10 people with them on the 3-week hike.  Anyone ever cook for ten people working hard every day--eight of them young men?  News flash: college guys eat A LOT.

If they had about 2 weeks of the hike left when they built the labaz, then that would have meant something like 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) salt per person per week remaining.  Or less than 2 teaspoons of salt a day.  Of course this math is very rough--and at that point they had 9 rather than 10 hikers--but this gives you an idea that the amount is on the generous side, but not completely unreasonable. (WHO studies show 2.5 teaspoons of salt daily is fine for healthy, active people.)  Especially if they might use it for more than just eating.

Consider the sugar: 25 pounds of it!  I believe this works out to roughly 2 cups per person per week.  (Average American sugar intake is 1/3 cup per day). An ample amount, but not unreasonable considering the calories they would have been expending every day.
 

January 17, 2021, 11:40:08 PM
Reply #27

DAXXY

Guest
Salt would help them retain body too fluids which would help prevent dehydration in cold dry air.

Or maybe it was to give to local hunters, some hunters salt their traps to stop them freezing.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2021, 12:05:44 AM by DAXXY »
 

January 18, 2021, 05:31:13 AM
Reply #28
Offline

mk


Salt would help them retain body too fluids which would help prevent dehydration in cold dry air.

Or maybe it was to give to local hunters, some hunters salt their traps to stop them freezing.

Right. A fist of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a liter of water is a basic hydrating drink used around the world; it's the main ingredients used in most sports drinks today.  This simple combination is much more effective than water alone, and can literally be the difference between life and death if someone becomes ill (vomiting, diarrhea) and begins to dehydrate on the hike.