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Norman Barrows

caveman rpg - should snow put out your fire?

19 posts in this topic

Of the (not too many) occasions I've been able to have a fire outside during winter, I don't think I remember a time where it snowed so much that it would put out the fire. If it's too cold, a fire that doesn't have some sort of shelter to keep the heat in isn't going to help much. And if it's particularly windy, you're probably going to be worrying about exposed skin before you worry about your fire going out. I think the question is, do the weather effects impact the cavemen more than the fire such that having a fire outside is pointless?

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If you can actually pick up a basket full of snow (which is something cavemen did to get water - set the snow next to a fire until it melts, get water) dumping that much snow on a fire would put it out.

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If snow is falling gently? No, the fire should just melt the snow before it hits the ground. That's like tossing a sprinkle of water on fire: Not going to bother the fire.

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10 inch of snow = 1 inches of rain. There is far less water in snow than there is in rain. Unless you have a ridiculous amount of snow happening, no. You have to figure that the rate of snow would have to be greater than the rate at which the fire can melt and then boil the snow, and given the small amount of water in each snow flake that rate is pretty fast.

 

edited for snow to rain correction

Edited by Azaral
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In really cold weather, you might have trouble even getting the fire started with primitive tools.

 

Fire needs three things to happen.

Fuel, temperature, and oxygen. Take away any of them and the fire goes out.

 

Water lowers the temperature, and soaking it means the water will keep the fuel at 100 C until the water evaporates, and 100 is way to low for fire with wood as fuel, so it wont light.

 

Light rain is not a problem for the fire either, just as light snow.

 

As long as the fire can evaporate the water before the temperature drops too much.

 

Both heavy rain and heavy snow will be a problem.

I'd expect putting out a fire is easier (that is, less water needed) with snow then with water because of the lower temperature, and the need to go through two phase changes (solid to liquid and then liquid to gas) and because a layer of snow (like if you dump a bucket) will also cut off the oxygen supply.

Edited by Olof Hedman
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10 inch of snow = 1 inches of rain.

 

Fixed. wink.png

Also varies depending on the type of snow: dusty and dry snow vs more moist snow.

 

 

LOL yeah

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There are special circumstances involved here. No, lots of snow can't put out a fire, but it makes it much more difficult to start, and depending on where you start the fire you could find snow CAN put it out. For example, you build a fire under a pine laden with snow and you could melt enough to start a small avalanche which puts out your fire. People have died for less. I don't know how realistic you want to be, but if you want something amazingly so you should probably start making some contacts in an anthropology forum. Be forewarned however, those perverts might ask the lady cave women to remove her top in summer weather. Leopard-skin bikinis were not in vogue at the time. wink.png

 

On a more serious note I've always been interested in creating or playing something like this and have never been able to find anything at all. I don't currently have any of the necessary knowledge to really help that much, and I'm not asking. I just wanted to say thanks, as I've always had an interest in pre-historic peoples, and anything that tries to do something that hasn't been done (much?) before gets a thumbs up in my opinion.

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Generally not, but rarely  if it dumps sufficient snow (isnt it like a 11 to 1 ratio of volume between snow and rain??) it potentially could or form enough on the ground over time to flood the fire. (fast drifting snow is another issue)

 

Generally shelter is first thing you look for, even out in the open when there is no convenient cave/overhang (that under the pine tree idea or rather up near the trunk as a windblock)   Wind Chill will suck heat out of you faster than a fire will normally provide (then I will build a bigger fire .. and spend time in the wind chill getting the fuel for it ....).   SO cold outside (40 below) a fire can only do so much for you.

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10 inch of snow = 1 inches of rain. There is far less water in snow than there is in rain.

 

there's the formula i needed!

 

i was wondering why rain would put out a fire so much more easily - because there's so much more water!

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from inquiries both online and offline, the general consensus is that only massive amounts of snow will put out a fire.   the snow equivalent of a hard downpour.

 

while i do track snow accumulation, snow currently falls at a constant rate. so there is no "light dusting" vs "whiteout blizzard" thing going on. accumulations can be high, but the rate at which it accumulates is only about 1" per hour at most. 

 

perhaps i'll give snow a low chance to put out a fire - or no chance at all.  no or practically no chance sounds right.

 

as mentioned above, fires should and do perform other actions in the game: reduce animal encounters, protect from exposure to cold, cooking, etc.   melting snow for cooking is on the list, but not implemented yet.

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Open barbecue pits work great in the snow, in my experience, but the size of the fire would definitely be a factor.  If you have different intensities of snowfall, you could have light, medium and heavy snow.  Light snow does nothing to fires, medium snow can put out a small cooking fire, heavy snow will gradually extinguish a campfire, a larger fire will be immune to any snowfall.

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If you're tracking snow accumulation, are the fires being built on top of that snow (basically melting a hole into it) or in an area scraped clear by the cavemen?  I could easily see the fires quenching themselves in melted snow if built on a large drift, with some sort of increased liklihood over time and also increasing the deeper the snow it's built on. 

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I'd hope the snow doesn't put out my fire especially if I need it to survive the night and keep from freezing to death.

If you have a fire intensity stat then snow and rain could reduce it by fixed amounts.  Say 2 and 5 out of a range of 1 to 10 with a score below 1 indicating the fire has gone out.  That way if they have a weak or dying fire then it goes out in snow but if they have roaring fire its just not as strong as it normally would be.  This mechanic would also make it more difficult to get a fire going and keep it alive when its snowing or raining.

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Open barbecue pits work great in the snow, in my experience, but the size of the fire would definitely be a factor.  If you have different intensities of snowfall, you could have light, medium and heavy snow.  Light snow does nothing to fires, medium snow can put out a small cooking fire, heavy snow will gradually extinguish a campfire, a larger fire will be immune to any snowfall.

 

The fires are assumed to be well maintained.    There are actions for checking a fire as well as adding wood to a fire.

 

Accumulation is modeled, but precipitation rate is not (at least not yet).   I was considering something based on how long it had been snowing as a crude model of snowfall rate, but decided it was probably too crude a model.

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If you're tracking snow accumulation, are the fires being built on top of that snow (basically melting a hole into it) or in an area scraped clear by the cavemen?  I could easily see the fires quenching themselves in melted snow if built on a large drift, with some sort of increased liklihood over time and also increasing the deeper the snow it's built on. 

 

As mentioned above, accumulation rates are not yet modeled.

 

The player is assumed to clear an area of snow before attempting to make a fire, so no meltdown or runoff issues.

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I am at a ski lodge. It is snowing. The outdoor fires are fine. There are even multiple kinds of fires to try it with, all of them are fine and in fact do not seem to care about the snow at all.
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I am at a ski lodge. It is snowing. The outdoor fires are fine. There are even multiple kinds of fires to try it with, all of them are fine and in fact do not seem to care about the snow at all.

 

Thanks for the reality check! 

 

it looks like 1 inch rain = 10 inches of snow is the reason.

 

i'm about 50 miles south of Washington DC, about 1500 yards from the mouth of the Potomac river where it empties into the Chesapeake bay.  we sometimes get intense rainstorms here in the summer (1/2 inch per hour ?).   that would be the equivalent of 5 inches of snow in one hour. and snow generally just doesn't fall that fast. perhaps 1 to 2 inches per hour at most (except maybe in the rockies, urals, alps, siberia, antartica, etc). i suspect the colder conditions required for snow tend to inhibit heavy precipitation rates.  Any weather junkies out there to confirm this?

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