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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:58 pm 
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weez.

I liked the Rhododendron. Thanks for your entry. :)

Takaaco78 wrote:
Don't forget bush craft skills play a big part in the contest.


Takaaco78.

You’re going to like my chaga incents I will be using on the next trip. I guarantee it will either cure or cause a bunch of maladies. Just like the now famous White birch bark plate from the fall contest this will redefine bushcraft. :roll: ..... :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Woods Walker wrote:
weez.

I liked the Rhododendron. Thanks for your entry. :)

Takaaco78 wrote:
Don't forget bush craft skills play a big part in the contest.


Takaaco78.

You’re going to like my chaga incents I will be using on the next trip. I guarantee it will either cure or cause a bunch of maladies. Just like the now famous White birch bark plate from the fall contest this will redefine bushcraft. :roll: ..... :lol:


Ya'll ain't seen Rhododenron yet!!! Expect some Kalmia latifolia soon too.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:05 am 
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Takaaco78 wrote:
Don't forget bush craft skills play a big part in the contest.


I thought this was for fun, that's why I took the good stuff. Now we have to go back and use a knife, tarp, empty gallon can out of a trash pile and some paracord. Well OK. :mrgreen:

Seriously though, the thought of using a wally world pack, $40 sleeping bag, tarp, knife, firesteel and just a pot to cook in kind of sounds like fun. Of course they won't be a camera because of technology limitations and all the pics will be cartoon drawings. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:54 am 
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The Rhododendrons are everywhere there. They normally cover the last hundred yards or so to the top and then all along the ridge line. This time they were only along the ridge.

Bushcraft will be done if I get a chance to make another entry this time around. If not... I will just have to wait until the next contest.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Ok, here's what I did last weekend ;)

Snow Trench 2012

I'm a member in training for Prince George Search and Rescue and as such one of the requirements for our training in my AO is spending the night in a snowcave. We have snow here, lots of it sometimes.

Our instructors decided to head up Mt. Purden which happens to also be one of the ski resorts in the area so thankfully I didn't have to snowshoe up the mountain, the resort kindly let us use the lift to get up. Here's myself the the group just before we got underway at about 9am
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The first order of business was to get a shelter figured out, in fact building and staying overnight was the primary purpose of this excersize. Everyone had previously split into groups some pairs and a couple of trios, mine happened to be one of the trios. We checked the snow depth in a few places and it averaged about 4-8 feet depending on if you hit anything with the probe on the ground or not. While we were on a ski hill outside of the runs it's pretty much untouched northern British Columbia wilderness.

Here's the start of our chosen structure, a Snow Trench:
We chose this instead of an actual Snow Cave for a couple of reasons, we wanted to stand up and you stay somewhat drier than when building a cave as there really isn't any way of doing that without getting soaking wet. The second is to build a proper cave you need a bank of approximately the height of the tallest person in the group. As i'm just over 6' we didn't find an area that had more than 7' of snow before compression. To construct a Snow Trench you first dig a trench approximately 2 feet wide and as deep as you can, in the spot we chose to build that ended up being approximately 5 feet after I had compressed the roughly 10'x10' area.
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We built up the walls with the snow that was dug out of the trench and by using the blocks we were able to carve out of the sleeping shelves that you cut to either side of the trench, this made wall construction a little easier.
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As my two partners were on skis and I was on snowshoes it fell to me to collect materials for the roof, this consisted of falling several small trees with a hatchet while in deep snow. While I was collecting trees, the guys got the rest of the shelter roughed out. We had planned on using a large block to help fill in the front entrance as it saves you a lot of work. Unfortunately that didn't work out and we were forced to pile snow, let it set and then dig a tunnel.

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Click the image to get the video, we needed to break up the blocks so they would settle properly and Ed figured a flying headbutt was the way to best accomplish this :)
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You can see the structure of the roof here, we used a bigger tree as a main beam and then several smaller ones from the beam to the wall as it was considerably easier dragging an 8' or 9' tree out of the bush than a 15' one.

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We needed a lot more branches for the roof thatching as well as a couple of tarps to help keep things dry inside but eventually we were left with this

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After working on the shelter for several hours we needed some dinner and hot tea, so we fired up the stove and got to work on that

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I really wish I had a picture of the 'fire pit' as it was quite the site to behold and for some reason I neglected to snap a picture of it. As the snow was about 8 feet deep in this area everyone had to help excavate a pit that was 8' deep and approximately 30' across at the top. This is the very bottom of the pit where we had a decent sized fire.

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After some time around the fire telling the usual lies and comparing structures we decided to head to bed. Inside we were able to stand up in the cold air sink and then sit on our bunks on either side, which made for a much more comfortable shelter when you needed to get changed.

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One of the guys was too tired from all the digging, he went straight to sleep before the other two of us got into the shelter.

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We had a couple of candle lanterns to supply some light and much welcome heat to the inside of the shelter, properly constructed they should maintain an internal temp of about 4-5 degrees celcius. It's still like sleeping in a fridge, but when it's -20 outside it's much much better :)

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I actually slept quite well, I woke up once feeling cold as I had rolled off my sleeping mat and was cuddled up to the snow wall behind me, lesson learned:
Use some fir boughs to insulate the sidewall of your sleeping shelf as well as the bottom and run my survival tarp up the wall instead of letting it hang over the edge of the shelf.

The next morning one of the guys wanted to do a bit of an experiment, he's done a lot of snow and avalanche stuff before and wanted to see what the snow pack in this area was like. Apparently it was very interesting, though beyond the small bit he explained to me it didn't mean much to me other than "cool there's layers"

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After some breakfast and looking at everyone else's shelters it came time to tear them down so they aren't a hazard for anyone else later in the winter or in the spring when stuff starts to melt and there are big pits that you can't see all over an area. The roof was stronger than I thought it would be one of the shelters easily held I think 9 people on the roof before them jumping around caused it to collapse.

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video of the roof holding many people:

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The hike down the mountain took a lot longer than the chair lift ride up. Was about an hour down after getting back to the runs with a fully loaded pack on snowshoes. The guys with the skis were understandable a lot happier about our method of getting back to the bottom of the mountain than I was.

It was a great trip overall, but from the lessons learned standpoint being stuck out in the snow in an emergency is pretty much the last place you want to be. We were blessed with mild temperatures for the time of year as the low was only about -10 degrees Celcius and the average for this time of year is more like -20 or -30. It was comfortable but we had all day to build shelters and knew from the outset that we'd be spending the night meaning we had a lot more gear than I would ever carry on any normal day hike.

Building a 3 man shelter takes way more work and materials than you'd think. I think 3 one man shelters with a common entrance trench would have been much faster to build, the roofing along would have been about half as much material.

Having buddies along that you can joke around with and share a meal with makes any situation a lot more tolerable. We all watched each other for hypothermia and dehydration closely and even so I've spent the last day drinking a ton of water trying to rehydrate.

Hope you all enjoyed!

*edit*

Added my SPOT track log since I hadn't gotten around to exporting anything to spot adventures yet. Figured someone might like to check it out.

http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view?trip_id=293328

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Last edited by slannesh on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:36 pm 
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well we hit the trail this weekend for a bit of small game hunting and an overnight trip. i was again joined by my buddy rockyroad. we also had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with CJ60 from BCUSA. he is a great guy and i would not hesitate to invite him on any future trips rocky and i make. we met up with him on the trail a little after lunch ( while gathering citrus ) he hung out the rest of the day and even had some dinner with us before heading out.

total pack ( CFP-90 ) weight for me on this trip was 52 pounds with everything i needed including water. the only thing this weight did not include was my rifle and pistol. when i got home my pack managed to drop down to 39 pounds. i took a total of 7 quarts of water even though there was a pump / well near camp. this was good planning on my part as the water that was coming up from the well had a very bad odor of asphalt. it is not uncommon for the well water in FL to smell of sulfer, but the asphalt smell had us scratching our heads. my guess is that crude oil may be leaching into the underground water supply in this area, but this is just a guess. i think it goes without saying that none of us wanted to drink this water, hell i didnt even want to run it through my filter! i had the chance to score some water on the way into camp, but passed this up as i felt my 7 quarts would cover my water needs for the weekend, i returned to my vehicle with a little over 1/2 a quart.

rocky and i were supposed to hit the trail at sunrise which was just after 7:00am. i spoke to him on the drive in and he advised me that he was running a little behind, so he told me to just get started without him, so at about 7:15am i hit the trail. the hike into camp from the trailhead is about 2.5 miles, but according to my GPS i covered 3.4 miles. i didnt always stay on the trail as i sometimes wondered off trail looking for game. along the trail there is an area with a small pond / ditch that looks like it would be hog heaven, so at this point i ditched my pack in the woods and headed down the ditch off trail about 75 yards. at one point it got way too muddy and i didnt hear/see any hogs so i decided to head back even though there were hog tracks all over the place back there.

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on my way back to where i ditched my pack i heard some noise up in the palms. i spotted a couple squirrel chasing each other through the palms and oaks over my head, but just as soon as i spotted them they were gone. i waited for a few minutes quietly to see if they would come back. after a few minutes i head one of them "barking" it took me a couple minutes to spot him. he was in a large oak about 30-40ft back down the ditch, so i made my way over. i waited about 5 minutes before he gave me the chance to take a clean shot. i packaged up my kill in a palm frond, got my pack and continued into camp.

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the trail i was hiking is part of the FL trail, and along this section there is citrus ( lemons, oranges, and grapefruit ). all the lower stuff was picked over from hikers but i managed to spot some lemons a distance off the trail. i picked three and put them in my maxpedition rollypolly.

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on the way into camp i collected some natural tinders. the two i picked up were dead spanish moss and palm tree/frond fibers. i added those to my squirrel package and kept on moving.

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shortly after getting into camp rocky hiked in. we talked for a few minutes about the drive up and how it was getting close to lunch time, and we talked about my BIG KILL! i have cleaned many fish over the years, but never cleaned and animal. rocky could see i was having a little trouble so he jumped in like an animal and skinned the monster. props to rocky for jumping in like a pro!

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time for lunch...

after washing all the hair off the meat i heated up some olive oil on my new and improved alcohol / wood stove and fried up the meat good and proper!

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after the meat was cooked i boiled up some ramen. the wind was blowing quite a bit so i used the door on the top of the stove for an added wind screen.

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after lunch we decided to hit the head out for some more hunting and gathering. i added my PSK ( green EMT pouch ) to my belt and rocky grabbed his butt pack. we ditched our packs in woods and hit the trail.

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rocky climbs like a monkey so he is always the one who scores most of our citrus. as i mentioned all the low stuff was picked over, so even rocky had a tough time scoring fruit, instead he shook the trees like a mad man untill it was raining oranges! about this time we ran into CJ60. we introduced ourselves to each other and talked for a few minutes. rocky still had his heart set on getting some grapefruit, but it just wasnt working out.

what do you do when the fruit is too high to get to? you just shoot it off the stem like CJ60! LOL..... he actually shot a grapefruit out of the tree with rockies rifle by shooting the stem it was hanging from. the fruit was at least 12-15ft over our heads... what a shot! i wish i had some video of it but i was just having so much fun watching it happen that i didnt think to take out my camera.

here are some pics or more citrus scores...

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here is rocky doing his best cody lundin along with some photos of the trail and camp...

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here is a gopher tortoise burrow...

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the FL trail registry in camp. note the big enamel pot someone left behind!

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after getting back to camp we enjoyed some fruit and had some chow. i cooked up some dehydrated hash browns and added bacon. CJ60 shared some of his MRE with us.

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after chow it was play time. rocky and CJ60 started talking about cordage. with a little instruction from CJ60 rocky started pouding out some palm frond branch to make his own cord.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO


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after pounding out the branch to seperate the fibers he started seperating some of them out. he made several pieces of braided cord. the more he made, the better it was coming out. eventually he was braiding thin 3 strand cords that were pretty dang strong! this is something we will both be practicing more on our next trip.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:10 pm 
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CONTINUED......

time to play with FIRE...

i decided to do some firesteel demonstrations. im no expert at working a firesteel, but i have had plenty of practice as i love all things fire. as you watch my videos you may see me use my fire steel different ways as i belive there is no one single one way to light all tinder with a firesteel. sometimes you need to get in close, while other times i feel you need to back off a bit. you do need some basic mechanics, but i belive that to be successfull with a firesteel you need to be able to "read" your tinder, and sparks and adjust your technique if needed. i think almost anyone can be shown how to light a cotton ball in five seconds, but the ONLY way you will be successfull at lighting many other materials is practice, practice, practice. besides being fun IMO knowing how to use a firesteel on common natural tinders in your AO could someday save you life.

while walking in the woods i found some bees wax. i used this along with my natural tinders to prolong the burn time by dropping some into my tinder bundle after it was on fire. the video demostrating this didnt turn out so well so im just posting the video we shot without me using the bees wax. i did 5 natural tinders....

1 - palm tree fibers
2 - dead spanish moss
3 - dead palm frond
4 - punk wood
5 - fat wood ( in the man made tinder video )

CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEOS

palm tree fibers and dead spanish moss...

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dead palm frond...

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punk wood...

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here i am doing 10 man made tinders with fire steel. some are the same type but 10 seperate man made items. i also did the fatwood on this video as the 5th natural tinder. in the video i said 9 things, but it was actually 11 things inc the fatwood. the music was from rockies I-POD...

CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEOS


1 - char choth
2 - weber fire starter
3 - birthday candle
4 - candle wick soaked in parrafin
5 - UCO storm proof match
6 - coleman water proof match
7 - large strike any where match
8 - dryer lint
9 - fatwood
10 - pre made magnesium shavings
11 - news paper ( in the second video as it blew off the log and i overlooked it )

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here is some tinder / knife porn...

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before long it was night time...

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this guy showed up for the fun. i had to take him out as i was not happy with a scorpion crawling all over the picnic table....

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after the late night scorpion beating it was time to hit the rack. i was beat and morning seemed to come real quick. i did wake up several times to change my position, but i fell right back asleep each time.

this is the second time ive used my spitfire2 and i really like the tent. eureka says that the tents min. weight is 4lbs 3oz but i dont know what they are leaving out to get this weight. i dont keep everything in the provided stuff sack rather i pack it all in pieces since it seems to take up less space that way. the tent is well made in my opinion and i havnt found any weak links yet, but again ive only had it out twice. the rain fly goes on easy with snap buckles and it rolls up on both sides to let the breeze through. it also has a vent that can be opened or closed to help reduce the amount of condensation from building up on the inside of the tent. i took my thermarest pad and USGI gortex bivy and green patrol bag, but didnt need to climb into my bag untill the middle of the night since overnight temps were only in the upper 50's..... thats winter in FL for ya!

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i woke early and could not wait for my first cup of coffee and breakfast... i made bannock for my first time both on a palm frond branch over the fire and fried up in the pan. i also took along some honey sticks to drizzle over the bannock. i took my new primus kettle which rocks by the way.

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the alcohol stove saves the day for rocky as he was all out of fuel for his coleman stove...

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just a few GPS screen shots...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Ok here is my entry for the contest, this trip was taken a few weeks ago and me and my friends have just been lazy in getting this share here on the ZS. :) Enjoy

Trip started off on Friday and we were delayed waiting for someone to get off of work, so we didn't get to Bug Out until 2 pm. I supplied 2 way radios which came in handy for when we got seperated... then turned around... then lost.... then lost again, then turned around for a 3rd time, before finally reaching our relatively "safe" bugout location at about 4 pm or later. (need to fire our navagator, but props to me for bringing and using radios) For those who are familiar with North Dakota in the winter... it get's dark about 5 pm. So the sun was going down quickly and we had to scramble to get shelter setup for the night. Thanks to that, not much time for photos or video, so some of the equipment pics will come after the fact. [Insert video of travels here]

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I broke out my tent and started to get that setup while my 2 partners started setting up a secondary shelter via my tarp and some space blankets. This is when I discovered my first problem... the ground was too hard to put in tent stakes. So I improvised and just threw in some equipment to keep it from blowing around in the somewhat shielded "forest" of 35 trees.

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While they continued to work on the improvised shelter, I took to gathering starting materials for the fire and also breaking down a bit of the wood that was laying around. In comes lesson #2. Do not go cheap on your tools! My friend Wynn broke his cheap (but mean looking) machette on a not so thick dead tree limb. It snapped off right past the handle. We laugh, and I make full use of my small camping hatchet. $5, but it works very well.

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Thanks to the cold here in north dakota, things are pretty dry. I gathered what grass was readily available and some bark and other tinder to get started. In the photo, we are using flint and steel to get it started. I let Wynn and Chris both give it a try with their "KNIFE" for a few minutes, before I broke out a cotton ball smothered in Vaseline and used my smaller knife to light it on the first try. (Yay me) Lesson #3. Cotton balls covered in vaseline are very useful, and if stored in a plastic bag can be stored for a very long time. You can also use laundry lint if you don't have any cotton balls.

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With the fire started, we broke out the bedding and tried to get settled for the night. The tent was too small for us 3 guys and the 2 dogs. So we all opted for different sleeping conditions. I slept in the tent, Wynn out under the stars with his dog, and Chris in the make shift shelter with his bundled up dog.

I made my dinner out of leftover taco bell and before long the zombies attacked and were dealt with. About that time, we realized we needed more firewood and had to scavenge some more in the dark. Insert lesson #4. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE how much wood you need. Lesson #5. Head lamp LED lights are worth twice their weight in gold, especially in the cold. Lesson #6. You don't have to chop up a tree to burn it, just slowly feed it into the fire as needed.

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After all this we called it a night and I settled into bed. I decided it was best not to let my water freeze so I kept my bottle in my sleeping bag with me, but not touching my skin. Lesson #7. Bottles can build up condensation and soak your bag anyway, next time let it freeze and deal with it in the morning. That night it got down to 9 degrees or colder. At this temperature, cameras, phones, and other electronics can shut down and reduce the ability to use your batteries. Just warm it up to restore it to normal. Try putting them inside your jacket or sleeves.

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Morning broke and we heated up some oatmeal. It needed sugar but beggers can't be choosers. A little bit goes a long ways. Chris and Wynn brought some dog food, so they were set without the oatmeal. Wynn brought out his coffee maker and we melted some snow to get a brew going.

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After breakfast we did a little bit of target practice on some zombie targets before packing up and calling it a day.

Some lessons I learned and thoughts from this trip was as follows.

1. My pack is WAY over loaded and a tent is worthless in a bug out scenario. A tarp and space blanket will do far better when weight and bulk are concerned. I'll revise and post an update.
2. Layering clothes is a Godsend, now I just need to upgrade my boots.
3. I need to add a Gerry Can Rack to my Jeep to increase range for a bug out
4. Get a dang map, going by phone is tentative at best, and worthless at worst. We were lucky and had reception in the middle of BFE, but reality is here in ND reception can be very spotty if at all.
5. Pack so you can get to what you need in the order you will need it
6. Leave early, or don't leave at all. The 3 hours sunlight window really hurt us in what we were able to do. I wanted to be able to show off more skills and knowledge however reality > wishes.
7. ^bump #1. The pack was not too heavy to carry, just too heavy to carry longer distances. A few miles like that and something is gonna have to get left behind or take a break.
8. Fix waist buckle on backpack.
9. Use waterproof gortex sleeping back cover, it really helps with moisture, the cold and wind.

Videos will be posted later, and a shout out to my friend Chris's profile on here as soon as he tells me it!

Additional pics
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Gotta stay warm!
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Chris staying warm, he said it was almost like being in a microwave. That space blanket REALLY reflected heat from that fire and he even had to get in his sleeping back to get away from the heat sometimes.
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Wynn's compact setup
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The tarp proved VERY useful in blocking snow, wind, and trapping some water for us in the morning ;)
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The last remaining light

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:47 am 
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Part 1.

Last weekend I did a 15-mile overnight trip with my uncle. My pack was 38 pounds with food and water. This was surprising as it felt heavier. We got a late start Saturday 1:30 pm and didn’t make it out till Sunday 9:20 pm. Given the distance and hard terrain much of the hike occurred at night. My uncle is 69 years old and undergoing cancer treatments. A winter trip of that distance and time through the rocky AT hills with a pack would be a hardship for someone younger and in good heath. I think it was an amazing physical accomplishment for him IMHO.

In this area rocks and hills are the order of the day.

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Looks like a Pitch pine.

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Flat ground was in short supply.

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It seemed like the trail never wanted to take the easy way around.

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Layering:

I know it’s winter but the daytime temps must have hit 50 F. My pants and thin jacket got lashed outside of the pack. Overnight it did drop into the lower 20’s.

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Yup I am hiking with shorts in the first week of February. Those insulated boots and wool socks made for some overly warm feet.

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Snow and ice could only be found in a few nooks away from the sun. So far this has been an easy winter.

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Bigfoot scat? I will have to do a “night investigation” to uncover the truth. The Finding Bigfoot team said Squatches use this section of the AT in NY. Go Figure?

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Some resources along the way.

Found a spring on the trail and there was also one in camp.

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Wild edibles are fewer in numbers this time of year. I did find some Partridge berries along a stream under some hemlocks. Hardly a feast but ate a few.

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The berries can be found on an evergreen low growth vine.

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Look for the two dimples and distinctive leaves but as always don’t eat anything unless 100% certain of the ID. This photo shows both the top and bottom of a berry.

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Our speed was around 1.5 mph with a long night hike still ahead. I keep my headlamp and batteries in an accessible part of my pack. The temps fell below freezing therefore battery life would be comprised with NiMH and Alkaline chemistry. The extra batteries would be tossed into inner pockets for warmth. If dealing with extreme cold I might have packed lithium primaries. Even with today’s powerful LED lights night hiking very often has a tunnel vision feel.

We got turned around a bit following extinct markers. The trail crew scraped away most of them but that all-important first one. No way I would have missed the true path during the day however the night is a world within a world.


We rolled into camp late and hungry. I really needed to put my pants on with the temps into falling past freezing. It must have taken an hour to find a flat rock free spot, prep the wood, setup the shelter and get water in the dark. A few minutes of warmth the hard hike and cold were all but forgotten.

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After dinner it was time to drink tea and talk about survival shows with Chaga incenses burning inside the tipi.

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Hanging out around the warm stove talking about questionable survival treatments for bleeding.



I did a little work to my PSK from the last trip.

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End of Part 1.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:48 am 
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Part 2.

We didn’t turn in until 4 am but slept well. I tested out some new kit, a downmat 7 XS. I like my Downmat 9 DLX but for longer-range hikes it’s a bit heavy and more so considering I never pack an air pad without a closed cell backup. The extra short 47-inch downmat worked well with a Ridgerest.

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Very often there are campsites near the lean-to shelters. I setup my 4-man in a flat spot.

Image



The afternoon Date Bannock. It was a big bannock for the USGI mess kit to handle.

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Nice lean-to!

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Broke camp in late afternoon and this meant another long night hike.

Rhododendron.

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A nice falls along the trail with just a touch of ice.

Image

Image


This is a bit hard to see but I was night hiking my way to the top of a hill in the cold wind. One of the hilltops had some resting grouse. They spooked me when taking off at the last possible second.



I promised a “night investigation” to find Bigfoot on the AT. The evidence that was discovered is truly compelling.



Thanks for looking.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:15 am 
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slannesh.

At least someone has snow. Nice shelters and is that a ZL H51w? Thanks for posting.

Darkside,

Maybe you should have purchased a bigger firesteel. :lol: Nice job with the foraging!

Weiown.

Yup Mylar works great to reflect heat from a fire. Sounds like you guys learned some good lessons.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:56 am 
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weiown wrote:
Ok here is my entry for the contest, this trip was taken a few weeks ago and me and my friends have just been lazy in getting this share here on the ZS. :) Enjoy

Trip started off on Friday and we were delayed waiting for someone to get off of work, so we didn't get to Bug Out until 2 pm. I supplied 2 way radios which came in handy for when we got seperated... then turned around... then lost.... then lost again, then turned around for a 3rd time, before finally reaching our relatively "safe" bugout location at about 4 pm or later. (need to fire our navagator, but props to me for bringing and using radios) For those who are familiar with North Dakota in the winter... it get's dark about 5 pm. So the sun was going down quickly and we had to scramble to get shelter setup for the night. Thanks to that, not much time for photos or video, so some of the equipment pics will come after the fact. [Insert video of travels here]

[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/8.jpg
I broke out my tent and started to get that setup while my 2 partners started setting up a secondary shelter via my tarp and some space blankets. This is when I discovered my first problem... the ground was too hard to put in tent stakes. So I improvised and just threw in some equipment to keep it from blowing around in the somewhat shielded "forest" of 35 trees.

[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/4.jpg
While they continued to work on the improvised shelter, I took to gathering starting materials for the fire and also breaking down a bit of the wood that was laying around. In comes lesson #2. Do not go cheap on your tools! My friend Wynn broke his cheap (but mean looking) machette on a not so thick dead tree limb. It snapped off right past the handle. We laugh, and I make full use of my small camping hatchet. $5, but it works very well.

[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/100_2513.jpg
Thanks to the cold here in north dakota, things are pretty dry. I gathered what grass was readily available and some bark and other tinder to get started. In the photo, we are using flint and steel to get it started. I let Wynn and Chris both give it a try with their "KNIFE" for a few minutes, before I broke out a cotton ball smothered in Vaseline and used my smaller knife to light it on the first try. (Yay me) Lesson #3. Cotton balls covered in vaseline are very useful, and if stored in a plastic bag can be stored for a very long time. You can also use laundry lint if you don't have any cotton balls.

[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/2.jpg
With the fire started, we broke out the bedding and tried to get settled for the night. The tent was too small for us 3 guys and the 2 dogs. So we all opted for different sleeping conditions. I slept in the tent, Wynn out under the stars with his dog, and Chris in the make shift shelter with his bundled up dog.

I made my dinner out of leftover taco bell and before long the zombies attacked and were dealt with. About that time, we realized we needed more firewood and had to scavenge some more in the dark. Insert lesson #4. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE how much wood you need. Lesson #5. Head lamp LED lights are worth twice their weight in gold, especially in the cold. Lesson #6. You don't have to chop up a tree to burn it, just slowly feed it into the fire as needed.

[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/100_2516.jpg
After all this we called it a night and I settled into bed. I decided it was best not to let my water freeze so I kept my bottle in my sleeping bag with me, but not touching my skin. Lesson #7. Bottles can build up condensation and soak your bag anyway, next time let it freeze and deal with it in the morning. That night it got down to 9 degrees or colder. At this temperature, cameras, phones, and other electronics can shut down and reduce the ability to use your batteries. Just warm it up to restore it to normal. Try putting them inside your jacket or sleeves.

[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/0122120842.jpghttp://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/ ... 20842a.jpg http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj5 ... 0_2518.jpg
Morning broke and we heated up some oatmeal. It needed sugar but beggers can't be choosers. A little bit goes a long ways. Chris and Wynn brought some dog food, so they were set without the oatmeal. Wynn brought out his coffee maker and we melted some snow to get a brew going.

[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/9.jpg
After breakfast we did a little bit of target practice on some zombie targets before packing up and calling it a day.

Some lessons I learned and thoughts from this trip was as follows.

1. My pack is WAY over loaded and a tent is worthless in a bug out scenario. A tarp and space blanket will do far better when weight and bulk are concerned. I'll revise and post an update.
2. Layering clothes is a Godsend, now I just need to upgrade my boots.
3. I need to add a Gerry Can Rack to my Jeep to increase range for a bug out
4. Get a dang map, going by phone is tentative at best, and worthless at worst. We were lucky and had reception in the middle of BFE, but reality is here in ND reception can be very spotty if at all.
5. Pack so you can get to what you need in the order you will need it
6. Leave early, or don't leave at all. The 3 hours sunlight window really hurt us in what we were able to do. I wanted to be able to show off more skills and knowledge however reality > wishes.
7. ^bump #1. The pack was not too heavy to carry, just too heavy to carry longer distances. A few miles like that and something is gonna have to get left behind or take a break.
8. Fix waist buckle on backpack.
9. Use waterproof gortex sleeping back cover, it really helps with moisture, the cold and wind.

Videos will be posted later, and a shout out to my friend Chris's profile on here as soon as he tells me it!

Additional pics
[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/0122120934a.jpg
Gotta stay warm!
[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/0122120842c.jpg
[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/0122120757b.jpg
[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/0122120757a.jpg
[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/0122120335a.jpg
Chris staying warm, he said it was almost like being in a microwave. That space blanket REALLY reflected heat from that fire and he even had to get in his sleeping back to get away from the heat sometimes.
[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/0121121623.jpg
Wynn's compact setup
[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/100_2519.jp
The tarp proved VERY useful in blocking snow, wind, and trapping some water for us in the morning ;)
[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj575/weiown/1.jpg
The last remaining light



Very Nice! looked like hardcore bugout!

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Last edited by the_alias on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Woods Walker wrote:
slannesh.

At least someone has snow. Nice shelters and is that a ZL H51w? Thanks for posting.



Yeah it was pretty crazy, Having to wear skis or snowshoes just to move around was an eye opener, you don't do anything quickly that's for sure. I had more than a little practice at getting back up after falling up to my armpits in the snow hehe.

The headlamp is a ZebraLight H51Fc. Great little light for around camp but being a floody only really good for 50' or so on high but it's pretty rugged. I had my Fenix HP11 with me as well but didn't use it as I never needed to see further away than the ZL was doing.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:22 pm 
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To participate in the 2012 Winter Mock Bug Out Contest do I just make my video and of course it will probably be added to my youtube channel because it just sounds like a fun idea to share with my watchers as well and then just post the link to the video link to the forum?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:54 pm 
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tookieblueeyes wrote:
To participate in the 2012 Winter Mock Bug Out Contest do I just make my video and of course it will probably be added to my youtube channel because it just sounds like a fun idea to share with my watchers as well and then just post the link to the video link to the forum?



Thats about it Post up pics / video and a small writeup.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:15 pm 
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Takaaco78 wrote:
tookieblueeyes wrote:
To participate in the 2012 Winter Mock Bug Out Contest do I just make my video and of course it will probably be added to my youtube channel because it just sounds like a fun idea to share with my watchers as well and then just post the link to the video link to the forum?



Thats about it Post up pics / video and a small writeup.


Thank you! This is my first time doing a mock bug out for ZS though I have been practicing for my own preparedness for the last 4 years (ever since I realized that the world was going to hell in a hand basket). Good luck to all those who participate and I hope to have my own entry up soon.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Well the first video I did to help my Subscribers to understand the scenario and to touch upon the gear, so day one was spent close to the truck then we headed off for a few days.



As the crow flies only around 9 miles traveled but plenty of ups and downs. I have many hours of footage, so I kept it down to a 20min video. On the last day I made the call not to stay near the lake, that as you will see had suffered much fire damage from last years wild fire, when the wind kicked up you could hear trees falling in the distance. So I made my way back to the truck, made great time headed down hill ;) I plan a similar trip with more of a minimal gear setup before Feb is over. Hope you enjoy it


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:31 pm 
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I have been planning on doing this outing for a while. The weather finally cooperated and a couple of friends and myself headed for the hills.





Clothing

Image

Wicking tops and bottoms
Wool socks
Under armor expedition weight top
Wool pants
Lester river bushcraft wool hoodie
Wool blend hat
Wool gloves with leather shells
Wool mittens
USGI mukluks

Gear

Image

Image

Shemag
Headlight
50' of bank line
Snare wire
Extra camera batteries
Therma-rest tech blanket
Guyout SS water bottle
First aid kit
9'x12' plastic painters tarp
Firesteel
Trailhawk head
Multicam 5'x7' MEST
Space blanket
12" saw blade
Candle stubs
Food
Titanium mug with lid
Extra socks
Plastic spoon


Temp on the way up to the hills.

Image

The downed Mulberry tree that we chose for our shelter.

Image

Had to improvise a handle for the Trailhawk head with the saw blade.

Image

Used the head to shape the handle.

Image

Then used the hawk to make the buck saw.

Image

Image

It worked well

Image

The saw and hawk were used all day long and were the only cutting tools I brought with me.

The bush and branches were cleared from the downed tree. I put some of the squawood down as a base for my insulation bed.

Image

While we were working I laid out my MEST, made a depression, and put snow on the tarp.

Image

The sun melted the snow and yielded about a cup of water.

Image

I cut poles, and placed them on my makeshift ridgepole. I built the shelter fairly strong in case of snow.

Image

We hiked to a meadow to gather weeds and grass to complete the insulation beds ans shelter.

Image

Once again the hawk and MEST were used for this task.

Image

Bank line was used to make tie off points(buttons) to attach the space blanket to the structure.

Image

Image

The painters tarp was used to hold the grasses and weeds in place. This made an insulated lean-to. The thermal mass really held the heat.

Image

To finish off my shelter I used the MEST to cover my bed.

Image

It was getting late by now and I wanted to get a fire going. I used the buck saw to cut up some Walnut.

Image

The Trail Hawk head made great scrapings.

Image

A few hits on the firesteel with the back of the head and we had a fire.

Image

I took the bag I had vacuum sealed my Tech blanket in, and used it to melt snow next to the fire. I got about 2 quarts using this method.

Image

This is how I spent most of the night. It only got down to 15 overnight. We used all hardwoods for the long fire. I had to get out of my shelter 2 times due to high heat. I wanted to do the super shelter, but it was just to hot. The thermal mass really kept the heat in the shelter.

Image

All in all it was a great trip. I think this will be the last minimalist trip I will be doing until next Fall. I have some plans in the works for that.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:21 pm 
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I have liked all of the recent trips and rather than individuals I will just offer a KUDOS to you all. Great use of equipment and skills. Some real winter weather too. This is shaping up to be quite a contest. I still hope to get out the last weekend.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:54 pm 
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All of the recent trips are really cool! I think we may have a conflict of intrest as IAwoodsman is the lead instructor of the bushclasses... :lol:

Welcome to our little contest IA!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:42 pm 
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xxxDarksidexxx wrote:
All of the recent trips are really cool! I think we may have a conflict of intrest as IAwoodsman is the lead instructor of the bushclasses... :lol:

Welcome to our little contest IA!


I know, I just could not help myself.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:51 am 
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Just got back, I'll upload and post tomorrow.

here's a tease:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:21 am 
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IA Woodsman wrote:
xxxDarksidexxx wrote:
All of the recent trips are really cool! I think we may have a conflict of intrest as IAwoodsman is the lead instructor of the bushclasses... :lol:

Welcome to our little contest IA!


I know, I just could not help myself.


Just what I had in mind for my next outing. Great job. Just up'd the ante that's all :)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Flying Lead wrote:
Now we have to go back and use a knife, tarp, empty gallon can out of a trash pile and some paracord. Well OK.


I like the sound of that, time to go look through the garbage:
Image

I'm gonna grab that empty fuel can, coffee can, a few beverage cans, and a chunk of home wrap ( ok I grabbed that from a neighbor that was residing his house, so it came from his garbage ). I also grabbed a small piece of thrashed garden hose and a couple spent shell casings.

This is the kind of junk we all find outdoors, I rinsed these out and know they're clean...


So let's get to it, I posted the drive above, I went towards the Cascade Mtn range here in OR to find some winter conditions:
Image

I hadn't scouted this area, every thing was wet, REAL WET, here's one of the few times the sun broke through:
Image

The Salmon River:
Image

Image

found some (tinder?) fungus, as you can see soaking wet, I left it alone:
Image

found a less than soaked spot of ground, here's my stuff:


stylish bag of aluminum cans I mentioned earlier, extra camera ( after some previous entries I thought this was a good idea ), gatoraide, headlamp, handfishing rig (didn't get to use it, the river was closed contrary to the regulations),
wool cap, wool gloves, a couple extra layers, bucksaw blade, FAK, pancake mix, olive oil,
bag of paracord, platy bag, thermarest, 9.5x12 nylon tarp (I added a few tieouts), sleepin' bag,
insulated mug (full of coffee, tea, and cider mix) and stove/pot combo (not real hardcore I know, but I like my coffee fast in the a.m. and I had plenty of room in the pack), bag of food.
tyvek sheet underneith.
Image


smokes, hatchet, knife/multi tool/firesteel etc. combo, and poncho.
this is the last time you'll see the poncho, when it wasn't raining the drizzle from the trees didn't stop. I wanted to stay as dry as possible.
Image


contents of food bag.
Image

camp set-up (made a gif to show the progression, photo will change every 10 seconds, might take a minute to load):
the bedding pile was all blowdown, no need to take live cuttings.
Image

made a frame for that buck-saw blade ( IA woodsman beat me to it by a day, lol, but here's mine, took me a couple tries and I had to add a cross tensioner to keep it from tweaking. It turned out very functional.)
Image
Image

finding dry wood was definately an issue and I spent the majority of the day walking in all directions gathering what I could find, I used my extra shirt as a makeshift 'carry bag':
Image

I knew it was gonna be a bitch starting a fire with this wet wood on wet ground, I made a 4" bed of mostly dry twigs in my fire spot, and made a few 'feather sticks' to expose the dry inner wood:
(notice the notched one on the left, that notch is where my firesteel is placed for easier handling.)
Image

broke out the greased cotten out of the FAK, I want this to work the first time:
Image

the notched 'feather stick' was supplimented with the cotton fluffed and stretched through the 'feathers' so nothing had to touch the ground, I saved the best two feather sticks to take the flame, small vid here:
http://s1244.photobucket.com/albums/gg5 ... artvid.mp4

time to get crafty with the 'garbage'....

I added some "wick" material to my FAK, dug out that spent bullet shell and olive oil:
Image

filled the shell with oil:
Image

wrapped the wick with aluminum so it wouldn't fall in or burn down to far and I have an oil candle:
Image

grabbed a beer can and made a windscreen ( did I say the cans I brought were clean? not so much..):
Image

Image

used the coffee can to start boiling water (with some wire I have in my leatherman sheath):
Image

Image

now for the fuel can, I thought about doing some kind of wood stove at first, but lets try something a little different.
filled the can 1/2 way with water and put it on the fire to burn off the paint and heat it up:
Image

I'm going for an inside-shelter heater here, something that hold and ratiate heat with minimal flame, I don't want steam or built up pressure inside the shelter so I grabbed the chunk of hose I brought and the can lid to make a kind of exaust system:
Image

Image

used a piece of wood as a wick-holder and filled a tuna can with olive oil, inside my shelter I dug out a small pit and lined it with rocks, put the tuna can candle in the center:
Image

when the water in the can got to a boil I added the hose-cap exaust and brought it in the shelter (brought in the can- lantern too):
Image

added a couple rocks to hold the heat better. Here's another short vid:
http://s1244.photobucket.com/albums/gg5 ... heater.mp4

my shelter is nowhere near air tight so I'm not worried about any smoke that's coming off the oil candles but, the door flaps need to be kept closed and I made a few "close-pins" to secure them (I left the very top of the doors open just a bit for ventilation):
Image

It got a little spooky and lonely, thought it would be nice to have a little company as I sat by the fire, another short vid here:
http://s1244.photobucket.com/albums/gg5 ... pbuddy.mp4
he was kinda quiet but, a good listener.

While all this was going on I was constantly eating trail mix, pepperoni, and drinking tea and cider, it was clear I was burning more than olive oil. I was down to a long sleeve shirt and poncho to avoid sweating between feeding the fire and projects.
Before I hit the rack I put my dried cranberries in a can with some water to rehydrate them overnight for breakfast:
Image

Ate my chicken soup mix and hit the pine branch pile, my 'radiator' was working pretty well, the can was still hot to the touch but the rocks only slightly warm. Inside the tarp felt quite warm (warmer than outside anyway, I should of brought a thermometer. My 'bed pile' was about 12" thick uncompressed, I tried it and was plenty comfortable, I didn't bother useing the tyvek as a ground sheet or inflating the thermarest.)

------

I slept well, woke up a few times and checked the 'heater', the can stayed hot, the rocks stayed just warm, and no noticable water loss and the candle was still going (had about 1/8" oil left, about 7 hrs burn time I think) . I think the rocks kept the water below boil wich is what I hoped for. The air temp. inside the shelter was pretty warm compared to outside, I'm glad I brought my stove and pot for some 'still in the sleeping bag coffee'. My fire had enough coals left to get it going pretty easily (thank god), and I got some water heated:
Image

gathered more wood to get me moving and warmed up, chowed my powerbars and was still hungry, so I grabbed my soaked cranberrries and tried some "beer can cranberry pancake muffins", this is my first attempt at this:
Image

crimped the top half of the can so it would fit as a lid and made a spot in the coals for it:
Image

drank the rest of my gatoraide, made more coffee and cider mix, kinda wish I had brought extra water, I was still pretty thirsty. As I boiled water I put it in my platy bag and let it cool in the river (the hot drinks just weren't doin' it) it worked but was time consuming.

checked my breakfast and it turned out pretty good:
Image

Image

the bottom half wasn't pretty, I guess I need to find a non-stick beer can, I had to dig it out chunk by chunk and the bottom of the can that was touching the ground didn't get quite done, the rest was damn good.

by this time I was warmed up again took my time breaking down camp and hiking around a bit, not constantly searching for dry wood was nice and I was able to enjoy the scenery.

Well that's about it, the rain came in again and I made my way back to the truck.

No critters this time around, I did drive through this place on the way back:
Image

there wasn't much going on...


whew, I had more photos than I thought, thanks for looking.

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