The smell of the fire

A continuation of The crack of a small bore.

I do love the smell of a wood fire, don’t you?
That and frying bacon.
Although in a time of crisis, be that survival, conflict, or ‘simply’ TEOTWAWKI, tactically it’s pretty stupid to generate any smell at all.

Possibly the keenest of senses and the trigger of many a memory, it can be extremely useful or devastatingly dangerous. These are the two aspects I want to  scribble about.

The human sense of smell isn’t exactly great especially those who are within (shall I say) an urban or high odour environment. You’ve just got too much to process. For most that means your ‘nose’ for trouble becomes swamped and if a particular smell is persistent, the mind just marks it as normal and you just don’t react to it over time.

Except leave the confines of an urban or ‘odour rich’ environment, and in a short time your nose will start reacting to the most subtle of smells, scent, or aromas.

I wrote about smell in a post called They Stank.
It was all about smoking beer drinkers and the dangers of smell.

Yet as I was wandering around the quay walking the dog, the lure of the bacon frying and even the smell of humanity was pervasive. I guess that was because of the previous nights thunder-storm and downpour. There is little that can beat the cleansing power of driven heavy rain!

It reminded me of tracking.
All your senses come into play there, sight, sound, and of course smell.
The downtrodden grass, the debris everyone leaves behind, the waste, the cat scrapes used for toileting which even when done correctly by re-laying turf are easily identifiable.

dogsnoseThen there is the dog with their motto.
That which has been sniffed can never be un-sniffed.

With 40 to 60 times more odour receptors than a human the average dog can detect a scent up to 100,000 times better than humans can. Better still they have an uncanny way of remembering scent.

Only dogs aren’t the kings of finding the whiff on the air.
For that I have to cite the bear (as many will attest to). Now we are talking mega sniff power! A bears sense of smell is so acute that they can detect animal carcases upwind and from a distance of 20 miles away.The average dog? 8 miles.

Noise and smell discipline.
Add bad camouflage, although in the main it’s often not so much bad just wrong for the location or situation and gives out the wrong first impression.
Now add the weakness of movement to the mix and you’ll be wandering how the hell you can ever think about staying covert.

Know what? You’re probably right.
Which is why if you want to disappear either keep walking until you find a place that is totally inaccessible (which begs the question how do YOU get in and out) and hopefully in such a way that you can’t be followed (good luck with that) or blend in with what you’ve got!



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