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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:56 am
Posts: 5419
Location: South Carolina
Yep, rhododendron, SC is thick with the stuff. Several times we found ourselves almost crawling to get through it. Like I said, my pack is an old Lowe I had taking up space, it worked fine when I was in my 20s...not so much now that I won't see twenty for another 80 years. My more "involved" pack will be my new BOB pack.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:20 pm
Posts: 1956
Location: Vermont Mountains
xxxDarksidexxx wrote:
Woods Walker wrote:
Little Mikie kicks ass. I think there are some partridge berry leaves very near that scat. This is a cautionary tale for those still sitting on the side lines. Little Mikie has been out twice and he‘s a kid. Earn some street cred and post an entry in this thread!


my computer is back from the dead! i love/hate computers....

mikie does KICK ASS! IIRR he did two outings last winter as well. i feel like mikie earned a prize already, so i will send him a handfull of fatwood sticks as long as his old man is cool with it. :)

i just brought home another 15.5 lbs the other day, and its some sweet fatwood! remember guys and gals, i have fatwood and a firesteel for the top three winners, and i will be giving away more fatwood for other entries, so get out there!

dont be scared... mikie aint! :wink:


I am good with that, he has more gear than I do now, he can only learn & grow from it

last year between sept till may right before turkey hunting season [I keep him out during deer season too ] begins he was out over 2 dozen times by himself & a few times he had friends tag along

the only fear you need to get over is fear itself

keep food hungup or away from camp, keep the camp clean, know the trails & trust your instincts


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:03 pm
Posts: 248
Location: NE Oklahoma - Tulsa Area
Zombie Squad 2012 Winter MOCK Bug Out Campout Contest Entry Submission
February 11th and 12th 2012 - Cherokee Public Hunting Area - Cherokee County Oklahoma
Submitted By Medic73 and theTulsa Oklahoma Area Zombie Squad Members

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Ford Over Greenleaf Creek In Cherokee Public Hunting Area



Part One – The Event

It was a clear Saturday morning. The weather this weekend was supposed to start out cold with temps in the upper 20s and very windy, but a cold front with winter precipitation was expected to come in. When the cold front got here this afternoon, the temps would drop down into the low teens and the winds would start gusting around twenty five to thirty mph out of the north before the snow, sleet and freezing rain would arrive late Sunday evening around 2200 hours.
My son and I had just finished eating our breakfast and were clearing the dishes. I was going to pour one more cup of coffee, sit back down at the kitchen table and discuss what we all wanted to do today.

Suddenly, the Weather Alert Radio came on and started blaring out the Emergency Broadcast Alert Tones around 0900 on Saturday, February 11th, 2012. No one hearing the alert tones took much notice at first, thinking that it was just another one of the multiple weekly tests, but this one was different. Instead of the usual announcement that this is a test, only a test, the announcement quickly made it clear, that THIS WAS NOT A TEST!

The announcement warned that some unknown disease that was infecting people had just taken place and that officials were urging everyone to avoid all contact with others. They said, "If you live in populated areas, stay inside and shelter in place." The announcement did not say what had caused the disease, but did say that local hospitals were being overwhelmed with casualties of this, yet unknown disease. It went on to say that several casualties had seemed to succumb, but then rise back up after a few moments, attacking those around them. The announcement warned everyone that if they saw someone fall down, unresponsive, do not approach them, but stay away from them and call the local emergency numbers.

ZOMBIES! I knew it! It is happening right now, right here.

The phone rang just as I was reaching for it. It was another of our local area Zombie Squad Members. “Did you just hear the news?” she asked. “Yes we did, it’s happening, but I don’t think it’s such a good idea to follow the instructions and shelter in place. I think we should all get out of town while we still can. Let’s grab our BOBs, follow our disaster plans and meet up near our site.” I answered. “Yea I agree, that sounds good” Jess said, “I’ll start calling the rest of the team on the A-group. Can you call the B-group?” “Sure, I’m on it. Let’s all meet at the gravel area near the site, no later than 1200 hours, ok?” I asked. “That sounds good. That doesn’t leave much time to get going” Jess said. “Yea, I know. Just grab your BOB and not much more. Don’t waste time grabbing stuff you can’t carry anyway. We better get outta town while we still can.” I said. “OK, see you there,” she said. “Bye Jess, be careful”, and I hung up the phone.

I yelled to my 16 year old son to start getting our BOBs loaded in the vehicle and that we had to go now. He had also heard the Alert Announcement, so for once, I didn’t have to tell him twice as you usually need to do with a 16 year old. “Bring the shotgun and the .22 rifle and ammo for both. I’ll grab the pistols and ammo for them” I told him.

I pulled out my cell phone and punched up the number for the B-group of our local members. I was glad that we had set up the groups with no more than 3 members on each list. That would save us time now that we were in such short supply of it right now.
I tried calling the 3 numbers on my list to tell them that about the emergency and that we needed to hurry, grab our BOBs and get out of town and where to meet. I was able to talk to two of the three on my list. Brian was out of town and would not be able to meet up with us. He told me that he had also heard the same Emergency Messages where he was, 5 hours away, so this was not just a local event. I was able to reach Ed, who was also on my list. Ed told me he had heard about it and would meet us at the location at 1200 hours.

I grabbed some last minute food items from the fridge and my son and I loaded up and quickly headed out of town. While driving, we saw several people starting to panic. As we drove out of our neighborhood, we saw that the grocery store was getting over run by panicked people. “I guess they’re out of Bread, Milk and Eggs” I said. I was glad that we kept our BOBs loaded up with food, water and shelter and that the gas tank was full. We took the most direct route out of town but decided to not take the usual highways to get to our meeting spot.

What would normally be just a little over a one hour drive on the highways took almost twice as long because of the back roads we took. I had used the DeLorme Back Roads book of our state when we practiced Bugging Out before, to find a few different options to take in case of a real emergency, just like this. As we drove the back roads, we watched for any sign of road blocks or trouble ahead. I switched on the dual band mobile radio to listen while also listening to the AM radio stations for any news.

There were some news stories on one of the local “AM Talk Stations” about what was going on. They said that some sort of disease was expected to be causing those that had recently died to rise back up. The reporter warned that if you can, stay home and lock the doors and avoid all contact with others. They said that local officials would be going door to door to assist those that needed help and to begin evacuating people to more secure areas to get away from what was now described as “Hordes of the Undead” walking the streets and attacking anyone they came across.

The radio announcer said, “We now take you live to our reporter, Debbie, standing outside Southern Hospital” “John”, the reported said, “The scene here is unbelievable. Police have shut down the hospital, saying they simply cannot take in anymore victims. They are standing by, armed with rifles and shotguns, at all the hospital entrances. No one is allowed in or out at this point. Several vehicles have pulled up with sick and injured people seeking help, but they have been turned away. Just moments ago, a man started trying to push his way in with an injured woman. He was pepper gassed and arrested by the police and led away in handcuffs! Everything is really breaking down fast here. I’ve also seen some fights breaking out”

The radio announcer was starting to comment back to the reporter when suddenly the radio went silent. I tried to tune in another station, but all AM as well as FM stations were now silent. This is really not good I said to my son. I wondered if the power had gone out or if all the communications had been cut off by some order.

I picked up the microphone of the dual band radio and called out on the frequency chosen for our group’s communications. The first time I called, I heard no response. I tried again and got a faint, scratchy response from Ivan, another in our group. Ivan told me that he had Jess with him. He told me that Jess had called him, but said that they could not reach anyone else on the A-group calling list. I told him that I was able to talk with Ed, who would meet us, but Brian was 5 hours away and couldn’t meet with us. I also told them that Brian had also heard the same messages where he was, so this was not some “localized event”. I told Ivan and Jess that we would be at the gravel meeting spot in a few minutes. He told me he didn’t think they would be behind us very far. “OK, keep the radio on and call us if you need anything” and I signed off and hung up the mike.

Keep a good look out son, things are going downhill fast. It’s already bad and it’s going to get worse. If you see anybody, ANYONE, tell me quick. We want to avoid people at this point. It’s just not safe right now. “OK Dad”, he said, “Dad, are we going to be alright?” “I think so as long as we get out ahead of the people that are sick or those that are panicking. We’ve got our gear and we’ve practiced our skills and between the food that we have with us and what we can fish and hunt for in the next few days, we should be ok at least for now”.

We were the first to arrive at the meeting spot. It was a gravel covered area off the road that offered a good view of the surrounding area. We would be able to see the others when they were coming and see anyone else that might be in the area well before they could get there. We would still have to drive another 6 miles to get to the area that we had trained in before, once the others had joined us. I checked the gas tank. I still had almost ¾ of a tank.

The dual band radio crackled to life with Ivan calling. He sounded very excited. “We just had to run a road block” he said. “They tried to stop us, but I drove on through fast. They were not that organized yet, but you could tell that they were stopping people and taking what they had. They had another vehicle stopped and were holding the people at gun point while others were pulling things out of the back of their pickup truck. They fired shots at us when we didn’t stop. One shot hit our vehicle, but we’re both ok”. “I’m glad you made it through ok. How far out are you now?” I asked him. “Maybe 10 miles or so”, he said. “Ok, keep your eyes open” I told him, “If you see another road block, call us and we may be able to help. Just get here safe”.

I started scanning the surrounding area with my binoculars. I could not see anyone, but I did notice a dust cloud just over the hill to the south coming up that road. “Get ready”, I told my son, I’m not sure who that is”. As the vehicle crested the hill about a mile away, I could see that it was Ed’s truck with his camper on the back. “It’s ok, it’s Ed” I told Nick. I watched to make sure that no one was following him.

When Ed pulled up, he got out. “Any trouble getting here?” I asked him. “Nope, not once I got out of town”, Ed said “I saw some of those Zombies though. A group of maybe, ten or twelve were chasing some people from a parking lot near the grocery store. The Zombies were not as fast as the people, but those folks sure looked scared. I couldn’t help them. All I could do was get out of there.”

Ivan and Jess pulled up and stopped. “You both OK?”, I asked. “I think so. I want to check and see where we got hit when they shot at us” Ivan got out and we walked to the rear of his vehicle. Sure enough, there were not one, but two bullet holes on the back of his car. “Doesn’t look like they hit anything important. Nothing is leaking, but let me open the trunk to check the BOBs” Ivan said.

He opened the trunk and found that one of the rounds had gone into the trunk, striking his BOB. One Nalgene Bottle was now leaking water and was ruined. “Guess I’m lucky it was full because the bullet stopped there. If it had kept on going, one of us might have been hit”

“Let’s get out of here” I said, “Even though we can see a long way, I don’t like staying exposed on this hill like this. We need to get down the road, hide the vehicles and get deeper into the woods. We can set up a camp down by the creek a few miles from where we hide the vehicles so no one will know where we went” “Why hide the vehicles? Can’t we just camp next to them?” asked Jess. “No, that would attract too much attention. We’ll be safer if we can hide them well and get at least a few miles away from them into a real thick spot, but hopefully where we’ll have access to plenty of good water” I answered. “Hey, I’ve got some of the big Cammo nets we can throw over the vehicles when we hide them” said Ed, “That should help”. “Sounds good, everyone ready? Let’s go”, I said. Everyone agreed and followed me down the road to the area where we would hide the vehicles, grab our packs and hike into the woods.


Part Two – Leaving The Vehicles

As we drove further into the woods, the roads were getting really rough. I knew that Ivan’s car might be having trouble going through this. I picked up the mike and asked him how they were doing. He told me that the car did not like this, but that he would call if he got stuck or couldn’t get through a rut in the road. Ivan was in the middle, so either Ed or I could stop and either yank or push him through with the tow straps and chains if we needed to. Also, Ed had lots of room in the back of his truck’s camper shell for their gear and he could take one person while I took the other if we could not get Ivan’s car through something.

I knew of an old firebreak road that had a small dirt berm blocking it, but the berm had been worn down by 4 wheelers going over it to deer hunt. Once past the berm, the road went up a fairly steep hill and then turned to follow a ridge line. Once past the curve, the vehicles would be out of site and well hidden from anyone that was not on the firebreak road. We would most likely have to pull Ivan’s car over the berm, but once past, the road was actually better than the main road because it had not seen much vehicle traffic for years, other than the 4 wheelers.

I stopped just before the turn onto the firebreak road. We all got out and walked up to check it out. I knew my vehicle and Ed’s Truck could make it over the berm. I told Ivan that I would go ahead and attach the 30 foot tow strap to the front of his car and pull him over the berm. If he got stuck, Ed could pull him back the other way.
We hooked up the tow strap and over we went. I watched as Ivan’s car bounced and drug its way over the berm, but it made it. Once we were past the berm enough that Ed could drive his truck over too, we stopped and unhooked the tow strap from Ivan’s car.

We walked back to the berm. There were pretty deep trenches where Ivan’s car was drug through. We stopped and got out shovels and buried the trenches and did our best to make it look like it did before we went over the berm. We then scattered lots of pine needles and leaves over the berm. It looked pretty good and should pass inspection from any vehicles driving by.

We all got back in our vehicles and drove up the firebreak and around the curve. We drove as far back as the firebreak would let us, almost a mile from the berm. We took our gear out of the vehicles and stacked it off to the side. Ed got the cammo nets out and we covered the vehicles with the nets and then placed some branches over the nets, to improve the camouflage.

After the vehicles were secured and hidden, we took just a moment to look over our gear and backpacks.


Part Three – The Hike

Here is the photo we took before checking the Topo Map, setting our Azimuths and starting to hike away from the vehicles.

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Left To Right - Medic73, my 16 year old son Nick, Ed, Jess and Ivan

We put on our packs and started walking down the trail with Jess in the lead, Ivan, Ed, Nick and myself following. We followed the ridge trail for about two miles before the ridge dropped off. The trail we were following then followed a dirt (mud) road. Because the road would soon be covered up with the expected snow, sleet and freezing rain, we decided to go ahead and walk down the road and not worry too much about leaving footprints. We could cover more ground faster this way.

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Left To Right – Jess, Ivan, Ed, Nick and Me


Part Four – Choosing The Campsite

We followed this road for a while and found another trail that went off to the side of the road. This trail would take us over to an area near the creek that flowed through the area. The creek is spring fed and is always clear and running with several deep holes that might have some bass, perch or catfish in it. It should also have some crawdads hiding under the rocks in the creek. We would have access to plenty of fresh water there. We followed the trail to the creek. Once there, we followed the creek and looked around until we found a good location off the creek where we could set up our campsite in that would be well hidden. This site was a small open area about thirty feet across.

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Ed and Nick Dropping Their Packs At the Campsite


Part Five – Building The Camp Fire Ring, Collecting Firewood And Tinder

Once we arrived at the chosen location for our campsites, we dropped our packs. The first task was to gather rocks for the Fire Ring and get it ready. The afternoon temperatures were already below freezing, around 28 right now, but it would begin dropping off fast once the sun went down. As you can see from the shadows above, we only had another two to three hours of daylight left and there was much that needed to be done before dark.

Once the Fire Ring was built, several large, flat rocks were propped up against the back of the Fire Ring. These flat rocks would make nice heat reflectors to push the heat towards the Tarp Shelters and Tents we would be setting up, but gathering lots of firewood was next on the schedule before it started getting dark. We wanted plenty of firewood, to last us through the night. We walked around and found plenty of dead wood in snags up and down the creek. We did not have to cut any standing wood for our needs except for a few poles cut from green wood.

Some of the fire wood we collected was in long pieces. Much of it was well over thirty feet long and would have to be cut, chopped or snapped using standing trees to get it into shorter pieces that would be easier to feed the camp fire with.

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Here I am gathering some more fire wood for the fire

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Here is Ivan Splitting some wood using his Hawk


Part Six – Building Tarp Shelters And Setting Up Tents

Once we were happy with the amount of wood and tender we had collected, we decided to set up the Tarp Shelters and Tents around the Fire Ring. We set up 3 different types of Tarp Shelters, to try different ways out and to practice setting them up.

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This photo shows my Tarp Shelter in the Left Foreground.

My Tarp Shelter was made using a five foot by eight foot tarp with “Space Blanket” on one side. I used another tarp as a ground cloth. The poles were cut from some green trees growing by the creek bank. I set my Thermorest inflated air mattress on top of the bottom tarp with my 20 degree sleeping bag over the top. I would use my Field Jacket for my pillow. That’s all I did for my shelter, but I was not finished putting up the rock reflectors in this photo. Once I finished setting the Rock Reflectors in place, I had plenty of heat reflected.


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Here is Jess’ Tarp Shelter

Again, this Tarp Shelter used poles cut from green trees. It was a nice, snug, low to the ground shelter that kept her warm that night when it got down to around ten degrees. Jess had an inflating air mattress with a forty degree sleeping bag, but also covered that with a space blanket and a quilted mover’s blanket pad. She said she was nice and warm all night.

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This is Ivan’s Tarp Shelter

Ivan set up his Tarp Shelter in a more typical “Pup Tent” Style by tying some rope between two trees and stretching his tarp over and staking it down. He had a Minus twenty degree sleeping bag that really kept him warm that night, but he didn’t have any air mattress of closed cell foam sleeping pad. He said he did OK with what he had, but next time would bring something for more padding under him.

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Nick used the small camouflaged pup tent in the background and Ed had the tan tent

Nick wanted to use his pup tent and set his inflated air mattress inside with his ten degree sleeping bag on top of that. He forgot to open a vent during the night, so his tent was pretty wet from condensation the next morning. But he did stay warm.

Ed’s tent had an open screen top with the rain fly over the top so it vented fine. He was using a closed cell, convoluted sleeping pad with his twenty degree sleeping bag on top of that. Ed said he was not as comfortable in his tent and he got up a lot during the night. Ed was nice enough to keep the fire going while the rest of us were sawing logs.


Part Seven – Fire Starting

After setting up our Tarp Shelters and Tents, it was time to get the campfire going, but we were not going to use any lighters or matches to start the fires. Instead, we trained those that had never used one before to use a magnesium/flint fire starter.

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Here is Nick using a knife blade to shave off some Magnesium

Notice the small silver pile of magnesium shavings on the rock, next to the small bundle of dried grass that we had collected for tinder while collecting fire wood? It was hard to keep the pile of magnesium flakes together because of the gusting winds.

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Sparking the Magnesium using the Flint Side of the Fire Starter

The above photo didn’t catch the shower of sparks that hit the pile of magnesium flakes, but the sparks did their job and ignited the magnesium, which then caught the dried grass tinder pile on fire. The burning grass bundle was picked up and quickly dropped onto the pile of dried grass that was sitting in the fire ring. Nick had a stack of small twigs ready to start placing on the burning dried grass tinder. We also had placed some “Fat Wood” shavings on the fire to help everything really get started.

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The Campfire Just Getting Started

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Here is Nick Adding More Wood To The Fire

Once the campfire had a good start, larger and larger sticks were added to it. We wanted to get a good bed of coals started because it would not be long before it got dark and we started cooking our dinners.


Part Eight – Cooking

Jess cooked her dinner of whole wheat pasta with Salmon, grated red pepper and parmesan cheese over her home made Rocket Stove. She started her fire in the Rocket Stove using a Magnesium/Flint Fire Starter Bar and a Petroleum Soaked Cotton Ball that I gave her. “Mmmmm, Mentholateum!” she said as it caught fire from the spark from the flint. I had actually made that set of cotton balls using Vick’s Vaporub, thinking that if someone got congested from the cold, we could use them to rub some on their chest. Dual purpose is always a good thing.

Ed fired up his No Limit Compact Butane Stove to cook his Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles.

Ivan used his Sterno Stove to cook his dinner of Tuna and Oatmeal.

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Cooking Bannock with Wild Green Onions in a USGI Mess Kit and a Steak using a green wood “Tennis Racket” Grill

Yep, I carried the steak in, It was part of the Last Minute Food that I grabbed from the fridge before we Bugged Out. Who says you have to rough it on a BOB Campout? My son and I split the steak and had potatoes and corn on the cob wrapped in heavy foil cooked in the coals of the fire. The Bannock didn’t turn out that well because it really got burned quickly on the fire like that. Not wanting to waste it, I pulled it out of the fire, flipped it over in the pan and cooked the rest much slower off to the side. We were able to cut away the burnt part and enjoy the part that wasn’t too burnt. It had some wild green onions from our camp site added to the Bannock dough.

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Wild Green Onions surrounded by Chickweed found at our campsite

I did enjoy the Bannock that I tried. I will have to try this again, but next time, I’ll try not to burn it like this time. The potatoes turned out really good, but like the Bannock, the corn on the cob got too hot and was also burnt. I was not paying enough attention to that while attending to the steak. The “Tennis Racket” Grill worked well, but I should have made it smaller, just slightly larger than the meat and used stouter cross pieces because when the first side was cooked and I turned it over to cook the other side, the tennis racket fell apart, dropping the steak. I was lucky that I saw it start to fall and made sure that it fell on one of the fire ring rocks, and not into the fire, coals and ash. Not wanting to take another chance of it falling into the fire, I then propped the steak up against one of the rock reflectors to finish cooking. That worked very well and we enjoyed it very much with the baked potatoes. Too bad the corn was burnt. We had some A-1 Sauce for the steak and “Butter Buds Powder", Salt & Pepper and Cheese Wheels to put on the potatoes. Our Dessert was Pound cake with canned sliced peaches over it.

The drinks for dinner were some Hot Cocoa for Nick and I had a cup of coffee with a tad bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream in it, that Ed had brought along. It’s nice to sit around a campfire, sipping a nice hot cup with a nip of something in it while it’s getting dark and the temperatures were really starting to drop. We sat around the fire, talking and laughing while not thinking about the Zombie Hordes that others might be dealing with at that time.


Part Nine – Time To Bed Down

Around 2200 hours, everyone decided it was time to turn in. Like I said, it was really getting cold now and the part of our bodies that wasn’t facing the nice hot camp fire was getting cold. My son had stepped into the creek earlier that afternoon, getting the bottom of his pants legs wet. Steam was coming up off of his pants while he sat by the fire.

We added more fire wood to the fire and everyone made one last trip out to have that last pee before bed. Stepping away from the fire made me really start shivering until I got back by the fire to warm up again. Once warm, everyone crawled into their Tarp Shelters and Tents and snuggled into their sleeping bags for the night.

The temperatures dropped down during the night. It was really cold where we camped because we were near the creek and not half way up a hill where it would have been a bit warmer, but at 10 degrees, it really didn’t matter that much where we made camp.

I had planned on adding more fire wood to the campfire as needed during the night and I had even placed a good stack of fire wood within easy reach of my sleeping bag. But once I climbed into my sleeping bag, I was very warm and toasty and I fell asleep and slept much better than I thought I would.

I did wake up sometime around 0200 when I heard a noise. It was Ed getting up to feed the fire because all of the wood had burned up and only a good bed of coals remained. I could still feel plenty of heat from the bed of coals reflecting off of the reflecting rocks, but Ed said he wasn’t sleeping that well and got cold when he got up to go pee again.

Ed put a good stack of fire wood on the coals and I got up to help get the fire going again. We spread the stack of wood, to give it better air flow and with just a few puffs of air, the fire started right up and within seconds, a good hot fire was going again. Ed wanted to stay up by the fire for a bit to warm up, but I went for a quick pee and jumped back into my sleeping bag. Ed told me that he got up once again sometime around 0400 to feed the fire again but I slept well and never heard him doing that.


Part Ten – The Next Morning

I remember hearing Jess, Ivan and Ed talking as I woke up. I opened my eyes and it was already starting to get light out. It was about 0700. They were laughing at me and saying that they wondered how I could sleep while they were rattling around the camp fire, making so much noise. I got up and out of my sleeping bag and said good morning to the group. I asked how everyone had slept. All except Ed said they slept very well and no one said that they had really been cold during the night.

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This Photo Is Cloudy From Condensation, But That's frost On Ivan's Hat

Breakfast was another cup of coffee with another nip of the Bailey’s Irish Cream in it. I called Nick to wake him up and get out of his sleeping bag to come out and join us. He didn’t want to get up, but he did in a short amount of time. I was cooking some breakfast for Nick and me. It was Backpacker’s Pantry, Scrambled Eggs with Bacon Bits in it.

This needed to actually cook and not just pour in boiling water like a lot of Mountain House Meals, so I mixed the powder with the water and poured it into my USGI Mess Kit Pan and started stirring it while cooking it over some coals from the fire. Once it was done cooking, I asked Nick where his Mess Kit was, so I could share it with him. He said he would rather eat some Granola Bars instead, so I started eating the scrambled eggs. I could only eat just a little of the eggs when they started tasting “funny” to me and I could not even finish what was a part of half of what I cooked. I offered what remained to the others, but no one wanted any, so the rest was dumped into the fire. What a waste, but now I know I don’t like that meal and I sure won’t buy any more of it. I had a granola bar to finish my breakfast with another cup of coffee.


Part Eleven – Water Filtration

Everyone had used up all the water that we had brought with us, so it was time to get some water from the creek to wash the dishes with as well as refill our canteens and water containers. Some creek water was placed in a pot that Jess had brought and set over the fire to bring to a boil. I wanted to try out the Katadyn Hiker Water Filter that I had recently bought. Jess had also just bought this same model and wanted to watch. I took the water filter down to the creek to a nice pocket of clear, flowing water over some rocks in the creek bed. I had an empty one liter water bottle and placed the clean water hose into the bottle and the dirty water hose into the creek, setting the float at a depth that would keep the weighted part off the bottom and I began to pump water through the filter.

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Using the Water Filter For The First Time

At first, the water came out pretty cloudy. Then I remembered that the instructions had said to pump water through the filter until it became clear, especially the first time the filter is used. Once the water was clear, I used the filter to fill the water bottle. It was very easy to pump water through the filter and it only took a few seconds to fill the one liter bottle. I looked at the water and it was perfectly clear with no discoloration or debris in the water. I raised the water bottle to my mouth and took a nice drink of fresh, very cold water. It tasted great, much better than most water you could buy in a store. Jess wanted to taste the water and took a drink. “Nice” she said, “Now I want to filter some water with mine” and she went to go get her filter. She filtered some water using hers and was as happy as I am with mine.


Part Twelve – Some Interesting Finds

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Things Found In The Creek

While we were down by the creek filtering water, Jess noticed an interesting rock in the water. She bent down and plucked it from the creek bed. It was a piece of chert that had been flint knapped into what looked like an arrowhead. She also picked up some small snail shells and fresh water mussel shells from the creek bed. Ivan came down to the creek to see what we were looking at. He looked at the arrowhead and told us that he had been shown some flint knapping technique by someone that makes their own arrowheads. Ivan picked up a couple pieces of rock from the creek bed and started showing us the knapping technique to make a very sharp edge. Ivan told us that with a little practice, anyone could learn how to do this. We were all soon knapping some chert into sharp edges.


Part Thirteen – Breaking Camp And Packing Up

The morning was soon getting closer to 1200 hours which was the time we had said we wanted to have camp broken down and to start packing our way back to our vehicles. We each took down our Tarp Shelters or tents, rolled up our sleeping bags and ground pads or air mattresses and loaded everything back into our packs.

The last thing we did was to pour water over the camp fire, releasing lots of steam from the still hot bed of coals. The fire was stirred with a stick and more water poured over it until only a very tiny amount of steam would still release from the fire bed. The campfire ring was very well built and the area around the camp fire ring was bare dirt. With the snow and sleet expected later that day, we knew the fire wasn’t going anywhere.

We did one last look around our campsite to make sure that no one had forgotten anything and we even picked up some trash that had been washed into the campsite when the creek had overflowed its banks last spring. We always try and leave a place better than we found it whenever possible. Other than leaving the fire ring and a stack of what fire wood we hadn’t burned, the camp site looked good. I’m sure that we will come back here soon for another BOB Campout.

We put on our packs and walked back out to the trail that would take us back to the road and to the trail along the ridge back to where we had parked the vehicles. It’s kind of sad when you know that another great campout is almost over, but everyone had a great time and we all learned something from each other. We found out that even though the temperatures had dropped down to ten degrees that night, we were more than able to deal with the cold and we did it with only what we carried in our packs. We all got to know each other much better and became closer friends from our shared experience.


Part Fourteen – Campout Overview And Facts

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Ford Over Greenleaf Creek


Here is a nice photo of a Ford over the Creek that we camped next to. This Ford is next to where we parked the vehicles before we began our hike. The water in this creek is very clear and is Spring Fed, so it always flows about this same amount. The area where we camped next to this creek is a few miles from this Ford, but this was too pretty to not share with you all.

Our group ranged in age from 16 years old to 57 years young. Three of us had never done any backpacking and very little camping without an RV to stay in and they had never spent the night on the ground without at least a cot to sleep on. It had been several years since I had done any backpacking.

Here Is The Training We Did During The Winter Bob Campout

1. Hiking With Backpacks
2. Map & Compass/Land Navigation
3. Pace Counting/Ranger Beads
4. Fire Ring Construction w/ Rock Reflectors
5. Firewood Gathering, Cutting And Splitting
6. Collecting Tinder – Dried Grass, Fat Wood & Petroleum Jelly Cotton Balls
7. Tarp Shelter Construction – 3 Different Types
8. Tent Erection – 2 Types
9. Primitive Fire Starting Techniques – Magnesium/Flint
10. Primitive Cooking – Tennis Racket Steak Grill
11. Edible Plant Identification – Wild Onions & Chickweed
12. Water Filtration
13. Flint Knapping
14. Archeology – Finding Arrowheads And Shells
15. Animal Track And Sign Identification – Deer, Bobcat, Coyote, Raccoon And Beaver

This Is What Worked Well/What Didn’t Work Well

1. USGI Jungle Ruck w/Frame – Worked well, comfortable, but the nylon straps were stiff
2. USGI Medium Alice Pack w/Frame – Worked well, but my son could have packed it better
3. USGI MOLLE II w/Frame – Worked well
4. Osprey Aether Pack with Internal Frame – Worked very well
5. Camelback BFM 2900 CU Pack – Worked well
6. Gerber Jr Machete – Worked well, Saw Blade worked OK
7. Polaris Handmade Hawk – Worked Very well, very sharp and held the edge well
8. Gerber Folding Saws x3 – These Worked Very Well Cutting Firewood as well as green trees for poles
9. Remington Sheath Knife – Worked Well for Chopping and Splitting Wood
10. Wenger Multi Blade Pocket Knives x2 – Worked well
11. Benchmade Folder Knife – Worked Well
12. Headlamps x4 – Worked very well
13. Flashlights x5 – Worked well
14. Cell Phones – Didn’t Work Well because no Cell Signals at the camp site
15. I-Phone – Didn’t Work Well, especially when dropped in the brush while collecting firewood, but it was found!
16. Dual Band HT Radio – Worked Well, could hit repeater from campsite
17. Water Filtration System – Katadyn Hiker x2 - Worked very well, very pleased
18. Sleeping Mats and Inflatable Mattresses - Inflatable worked better than the Closed Cell Convoluted Ground Mat for comfort, but it worked better than not using either
19. Sleeping Bags – Even the 40 degree bag worked at 10 degrees when used with a space blanket and a padded mover’s blanket pad
20. Tarp Shelters – 3 Different Designs – All Worked well to keep us warm
21. Tents – Worked well, but worked better when vented to allow condensation to escape
22. Magnesium/Flint Fire Starter Bars x4 – Worked very well
23. Petroleum Jelly Cotton Balls – Worked very well, especially when sparked from a flint
24. Shaved Fat Wood – Worked very well
25. Dried Grass Bundles For Tinder – Worked very well and was easy to find plenty
26. Dried Fire Wood – Worked Well, we had more than we needed
27. Rock Fire Ring with Rock Heat Reflectors – Worked VERY Well, better than expected at the cold temperatures we had overnight. Kept us very warm even when the fire went out, leaving only a bed of coals
28. Mountain House Foods – Beef Stroganoff with Noodles – Worked Well
29. Backpacker’s Pantry – Scrambled Eggs With Bacon Bits – Didn’t Work Well, Tasted Nasty
30. Tennis Racket Steak Grill – Worked Well Until I flipped it over – Next Time will be better
31. Bannock - Worked NOT SO Well – Because I burned it – Next Time will be better
32. Potatoes Cooked in Foil in the Coals – Worked Well – Really Good Fixed Up
33. Corn On The Cob in Foil in the Coals – Not so Good – Didn’t Watch it and it burned
34. Coffee With Bailey’s Irish Cream – Worked Great – Can I have Some More Please!

Everyone had a really great time and nobody froze their butts off. We got to push ourselves past our usual "Comfort Zone" to see what we could do under such cold temperatures and this allowed us to put our BOBs to the test to see what worked and more importantly, what didn't work. We found out what gear that we carried that we could have left at home and found out what we wished we had brought. We found out that we could survive the night with only what we could carry in our packs.

We learned a lot from each other. Everyone learned something new and we all got to know each other and ourselves much better. Now everyone is asking when the next campout will be! Others that couldn't go with us on this one want to go on the next campout.

I got to spend some quality time with my son, something I know, will soon be gone once he turns eighteen and moves out to become his own adult self.
We grew closer to each other. I now know more about him and he knows more about me. We didn't fuss or argue once at all during the weekend and that was the best part of all.

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Here is Nick Sitting Down By The Creek

Cherokee Public Hunting Area is an area with a rich history. It was once part of Camp Gruber, an Army Training Post. During WWII, it was part of a German POW Camp at Camp Gruber. Many Rock Walls can be found in the area that were built by the prisoners. It was also part of an Impact Area where an occaisional un-exploded ordinance can be found. Most of it was cleared out long, long ago, but you still need to watch out for this.

The area is now a Public Hunting Area with a Game Management Area next to it. The area has many deer, wild turkey, rabbits, squirrels and many other wild animals in it that can be seen. During the winter like this, Bald Eagles sometimes nest along Greenleaf Creek, the creek we camped next to.

I love this area and I have hunted many parts of it over the past 25 or more years. While it is not designated as a true Wilderness Area, it is still pretty wild and untouched in some areas. Considering how many people know about it, that's a great thing.

I hope you enjoyed this Winter Bug Out Campout Contest Entry and I really hope I posted the photos the right way so you can see how much fun we had last weekend on our campout.

I want to thank the Zombie Squad for posting this challange. I hope I'm not sounding like I'm sucking up, but I really want to thank you for the opportunity to go out with my son and some good, now better friends to test our equipment and ourselves. We were able to go out, spend a very cold night out with only what we could carry in and out. We proved to ourselves that we could do it as well as proving to all our family and friends that told us that we were all crazy for going camping on a weekend like this.

Please accept our entry in the Zombie Squad 2012 Winter MOCK Bug Out Campout Contest.

Submitted by Medic73 and the Tulsa Oklahoma Area Zombie Squad Members


Last edited by Medic73 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:59 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:10 am 
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Woods Walker wrote:
Beast1210

however clearly that was a reenactment and not real world actions so guessing no laws were broken.


You are correct sir, tried to include some theatrics ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Medic73- good trip and great write up. Good story. Looks like you have a good group in Oklahoma. Hoping to get something similar going in MN. Good job!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:52 pm 
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Last week from Thursday to Sunday I attended a group campout. The camp is within a rural area accessible by ATV, snowmobile or on foot during winter. This year snowshoes were not needed do to a mild winter. I loaded the pulk from the truck midday Thursday for the hike in. The weather for the area was milder than expected. I think the lowest temp was around 9 F and that’s not too bad.

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Before we headed out I was shown the world’s brightest paracord wrist band. I want to make one.

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I think the dirt road (being generous with my description) is about 2-miles long.



There was light snow on and off over the 4 days but nothing that amounted to more than an inch.

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Tipi row.

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9F might sound cold but that’s not bad for an area which can easily fall to -25F during winter.

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My home away from home.

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My DIY woodstove.

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It also comes with off the grid electric lighting.

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My buddy brought Coleman pancakes. When did Coleman start making pancakes?

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My bed. Pure Down fluffy goodness.



Some bushcraft and camp skills fun.

Gathering dry firewood during winter for a wood stove involves both proper selection and prep.

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We used trailblazer saws to help with the prep and pulk sleds to get the wood back in camp. Pulk sleds aren’t just for gear.



Chaga found on Yellow birch.

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Hoof fungus.



SAK used as a striker for a Magnesium block’s ferrocerium rod.



We attempted a bow drill friction fire however most of the Eastern White pine had trapped frozen water inside. I used Maple for the block, hardwood branch for the bow, paracord for the line, Eastern White pine for the spindle and both pine and maple for the fireboard.

Working on the spindle with my neck knife.

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Block, bow and spindle.

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When roughing up the fireboard end of the spindle I cut my finger. With my dirty finger nails from digging in punky wood and winter temps this boo-boo could have become a survival situation. LOL!

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I was skeptical about pine on maple but the pine fireboard was too wet so gave it a go. We got lots of smoke and magic dust but no coal. We had similar results with pine on pine for a second go around. Oh well maybe next time.

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Now here is a more reliable fire starting method. The world famous fire steel and Birch bark combo.

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Steeping Hemlock tea in a GSI kettle.



Anyone watching the videos probably heard all of the shooting. It didn’t stop just because the sun went down. Once again the area is rural and all target shooting was done at the camp’s range.

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I did some night shooting with a Ruger LCP and P345. Or maybe I was was dealing with walkers looking to take a bite out of me. You decide. :lol:



Hanging out inside the massive 24-man tipi heated by a mega takedown artic stove with Patrick Smith.

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That’s about it for this trip and thanks for looking.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Medic73

Great entry!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:19 am 
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i've been out of the loop for a while and just spent the past hour or so catching up on all the entries... while I would love to do single one by one's all I can say is WOW!! the calibre of the entries has stepped up signifigantly... It is nice to know I am in common place with all of you fine individuals...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:08 pm 
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Thanks Brain245 and Woods Walker.

While it was cold, I actually wished that we had some snow during the campout because it just doesn't look much like winter this year.

Woods Walker, I love your posts bcause you show lots of edible plants, something I am trying to learn more about. I wish I had a small Field Guide like the Peterson's Guides for Birds, but only Edible Plants.

Thanks again guys. I'm glad you like our entry post and story.

Medic73


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Medic73 wrote:
Thanks Brain245 and Woods Walker.

While it was cold, I actually wished that we had some snow during the campout because it just doesn't look much like winter this year.

Woods Walker, I love your posts bcause you show lots of edible plants, something I am trying to learn more about. I wish I had a small Field Guide like the Peterson's Guides for Birds, but only Edible Plants.

Thanks again guys. I'm glad you like our entry post and story.

Medic73


Peterson Field Guide to Edible Plants
QK98.5.U6P47
ISBN 0-395-20445-3

I checked out a copy from my school's library a few weeks ago. Good stuff, like most of the Peterson field guides.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Mister Darks' WMBO AAR.

As you, good reader, have already surmised, I had the excellent pleasure of having a mock bugout with some awesome ZS'ers: Omega Man, Regular Guy, HeWhoSticksThingsWithASpear, Doc66, and Junior. We hiked a fairly torturous trail in the Jones Gap state park along the SC/NC border.

The goal was a 2 night, 2 day hike over a strenuous trail, with a planned mileage of close to 14 miles. As always it seems, situations changed even before I could get out the door. This threatened to be yet another MBO that I would miss, as I managed to totally trash my ankle only 9 days before we were scheduled to leave. I fractured a couple of tiny bones on the outside of my right ankle, and was told to stay off it for a week or more. LOL.

Pic taken two days before the hike. My apologies to the squeamish. It had been much worse.
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But, this time I would NOT be left behind! With a generous helping of Ibuprofin, an expensive ankle brace, and TONS of support from the guys, I dug in and did the hike. I wasn't the fastest hiker out there - you can see in everyone else's pics that I am usually tail-end charlie - and if we had been running from the dreaded katana-wielding mutant biker zombie bears, I know how my story would have ended. Fortunately this was just a rehearsal, I got through it ok, and I learned a lot from the experience.


A few words about my pack setup. For this hike, I used my Granite Gear Alpine Vapor pack (as setailed in my Winter Bob post), combined with a new aquisition, the Ribz Front Pack. This is a lightweight, zip front pack, worn on your chest - basically a civilian LBE, and I must say it worked wonderfully! The Ribz itself is ultralight silnylon, weighs less than 11 ounces, but carries a respectable amount of gear!

The Ribz pack, ready to head off to the hills.
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My FAK went in the right side main compartment. The front pocket held my camera.
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The left side main pocket held my maps, a water bottle, clif and mainstay bars, and water purification kit. The front pocket held my headlamp, compass, and firekit.
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The nicest part was that it was all instantly available while on the move. And I had more room for even more stuff, if I had decided to really cram gear into the bag. Pure win, in my book. It also helped having some of my gear weight on my front, easing the backwards pull of my backpack. The straps never interfered at all with my pack straps, although I did get them twisted on themselves a few times after dragging it around camp for a night. I love it.

Good pic of the Ribz pack in action, courtesy of Omega Man
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Overall, my total pack weight was just under 32 pounds. Not too bad, considering I brought my ham radio setup, 3 liters of water, waaaay too much food, and an undisclosed amount of bourbon. In a real emergency, I would probably gone with a little less food, and a larger (but still undisclosed) quantity of the good stuff.




Day one started well enough. Grabbed my BOB, tossed it in the truck, and hightailed it out of town for an early morning rendezvous with Regular Guy and his son, HWSTWAS. A quick drive north (an interesting aside: driving along a state road on the way to our destination, we crest a hill to see no less than 4 county police cars semi-blocking a 4 way intersection. They were conducting a "routine" licence, registration, and insurance check, but one cant help but wonder. If we had been bugging out for real by vehicle, and this had been a Camp FEMA recruiting station, this could easily have been a bad place to be) to Caesars Head State Park, on the SC/NC border, where we met up with Omega Man, Doc66, and his understudy, Junior. We quickly made it to our jumping-off point, and after a bit of vehicle prepositioning/repositioning, took off for the trail. The weather was a little chilly, but very nice for mid-february on the SC/NC border, and we made good time.


Omega Man, leading the way under a giant cliff face, reminding us all how small and insignificant we really are.
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We stopped around noon for a quick lunch. One thing I decided to try out for this MBO were some Mainstay emergency bars I have had for a while. I have had these bars tucked away for at least 3 years. They tasted just fine, and at 400 calories per 2.7 oz bar, they can't be beat on caloric density. I ate two bars for lunch each day, and felt full and had plenty of energy to keep moving. I honestly wouldnt have a problem having a couple for breakfast as well, replacing my usual 2-pack of oatmeal. They would certainly save the need for heating water to make a meal. (although I at least need a cup of hot coffee to get going most mornings, so I dunno about that) I highly recommend them, they are going to be a staple of my bugout bag from here on out.


It was a little after lunch that I discovered my FAIL for the weekend. The Aquapur tablets I had in my BOB, which were going to be my only source of water purification, had expired and gone bad.

These are supposed to be white...
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...and not stain the insides of my platy like this.

SO! For the rest of the weekend, I depended on the kindness of strangers ZombieSquad'ers for either filtered water, or fresh purification tabs. Wow. I know I could have boiled water the whole weekend, but that would have been very labor and fuel intensive, and would have really been annoying to say the least. This was a huge error on my part, and had this been for real, I would have been screwed. Lesson learned: Whether it's iodine tabs, MRE's, or medicine; Make sure your crap hasn't snuck past the expiration date on you!

After a fairly easy 3.5 mile hike we made it to our campsite for the night. I quickly found two trees that were a workable size and distance from each other, (an amazingly easy task in the southeast!) and set up my hammock. For this trip I went with my basic but comfortable Grand Trunk Traveler hammock. It is a little narrow, but if I pitch it right, it is a great sleep.

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pic courtesy of Omega Man again.

It was going to be a fairly cold night, so I hung my underquilt. Hanging beneath the hammock, the UQ is able to loft up and retain my body warmth far more than a sleeping bag would, squeezed between me and the hammock skin. For anything below 50 degrees, some kind of UQ is essential for comfortable hammocking. This particular UQ has kept me warm and cozy down to around 0F, so I knew it was up to the task here.

Next, I tossed in my topquilt and my sleeping bag, and then pitched my tarp over the whole mess, just in case it decided to rain on us during the night. Unfortunately, something weird happened with my camera (condensation perhaps) and the shots of the sleeping bag and tarp didnt turn out. Basically it looked like a big sleeping bag, in a hammock, covered by a black tarp.

Later that same evening, I used my Bushwacker woodgas stove to heat water for coffee and my dinner, as always it worked just fine - although I learned the hard way that it is a good idea to make sure your very topheavy stove is on VERY level and steady ground before firing it up - the whole rig toppled on me once, dumping a pint of boiling water and lots of nice hot coals all over the place. Next time, I'll be more careful.

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(pic courtesy of Doc66. My stove is the tall thingy with a pot of water on it, behind his hobo stove)

Fixed up a pack of Knorr/Lipton rice sides for dinner. At my last hotel stay, I had found a bunch of Country Crock single serving margarine packs - I brought a few along, and let one melt in the water before adding the rice meal. It was awesome! And, at close to 700 calories, way more than enough to refuel me for the night. After that, I enjoyed some time by the fire with good company and great stories (and maybe, just maybe, some liquid refreshments) and turned in around 10pm. The temps were in the low 30's, and the wind picked up a bit later on, but I was nice and warm all night. ( NOTE TO SELF: Staying warm and sleeping well are critical to being able to function the next day. As much as I appreciate the simplicity of sleeping in bivy bags on the ground, I just can't get any rest in one. Hammocks FTW.)

Me, Doc66, and Junior hanging out in the late afternoon sun.
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Fire at night. Always picture-worthy.
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Saturday morning we awoke to temps hovering around 32 and a very light dusting of snow (I at first thought our campfire was throwing ash, when in fact it was tiny flakes of snow dropping in on us!) We took our time getting woke up, fed, and set up for the day, and took off for our next waypoint around 10am.

Everyone taking in the sights.
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After a mile or so, we crossed a state road, and RG and his son parted company with us. I have to hand it to HWSTWAS, he toughed it out on a long overnight hike, and never complained. I expect to see him out with us on the trail, many more times in the future.

The next mile was a liesurely stroll down an abandoned forest road. It was nice, being able to walk without too much risk of twisting an ankle, for at least a little while. We walked along a busy stream which I have to think it would have been a great spot for fishing, but we really didn't have the time to stop. All during this time we were descending lower and lower into a ravine between two tall mountains, but the smooth switchbacks and wide path made it deceptively easy. But of course, the lower we went, the harder it would be to climb back out.

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We stopped for lunch at an old stone bridge crossing, it was here that I had a few minutes to play with my solar charger setup. It is a cheap little Rothco folio style kit, with a panel measuring approx 5" by 3". As we were packing up earlier in the morning, I had realized my cell phone was giving me the dreaded "battery too low for radio use" warning, so I plugged it into the chargers' battery pack, closed the whole mess up, and tossed it in my pack. During our lunch break a few hours later, I took the phone out and bingo! 3 bars of battery! The charger battery was mostly drained by this point, so I set the panel in a patch of sunlight and let the it recharge for a bit. It needs at least 4 hours of sunlight to completely recharge, but every little bit helps. The battery is really a great addition to this panel kit - I like the fact that I am not totally dependant on a sunny day to get a recharge on my gear. Even the 15 minutes of sunlight was enough to later charge my ipod from below 20% back to 50%. With a total weight of only 7 oz with all the random charger tips and cables, it is a definite winner in my book.

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After a nice break for lunch, we walked along the blessedly level roadbed for a hundred yards or so, then stared in horror amazement as our trail left the road and climbed straight up the side of the mountain!

Doc66 and Junior heading up (and I mean UP) the trail. (pic courtesy of OM)
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The trail went straight up past this waterfall. Are you serious? (pic by OM)
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Also, as we traveled, the temps dropped, and the winds started picking up. A rather nasty cold front was pushing in, and things started getting downright chilly. However, regardless of the weather or the difficulty, once we broke out of the trees onto the cliff faces near the top of the mountain, it was all worth it.

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Once we started approaching the top of the mountain, and with temps dropping quickly, we pushed hard to make it to the second nights' campsite. In fact, we passed several really great spots on our way up to the only "sanctioned" campsite on the trail. I wish I had thought to take pictures of the place once we arrived - the site sat right on the crest of the tallest mountain in the area, and was totally exposed to the wind. To make things even better, most of the trees looked dead, and there were a LOT of broken limbs and deadfalls all around, giving me a serious concern for widowmakers. For winter camping, this place totally sucked. We headed down the trail a little farther, looking for a spot that would be at least partially sheltered from the wind, but to no avail. After 30 minutes in ever-dropping temps, and ever-increasing winds, the decision was made to bail out on our bug out. Although I think I could have made it thru the night up there, it would have been uncomfortable and dangerous to stay, We made the right call.

An hour (and approximately 1000 feet of elevation) later, we were at the end of the trail. Almost 12 miles in 31 hours. Not too bad, and a lot of lessons were learned without anyone getting hurt.

Pure Win.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:25 am 
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Last weekend to get your trips in, posting deadline is Wed the 29th

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Wow, Thanks Omegaman!


Peterson Field Guide to Edible Plants
QK98.5.U6P47
ISBN 0-395-20445-3


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Medic73 wrote:
Wow, Thanks Omegaman!


Peterson Field Guide to Edible Plants
QK98.5.U6P47
ISBN 0-395-20445-3


:D I plan on checking this book out en continuum

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:40 am 
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Not really an entry, but I sure did have some fun and learned a little to.

This was a bit off the track for me.

1. I normally like to run solo just to get away from the hassles of regular life.

2. This was actually a training course. A week spent having a Swedish guy named Uncle Lars and a Brit called Ray boss me around, Yikes!!! Kind of nice to shake it up from time to time and see how the other half lives.

I won't bore you with each and every nick-knack piece of gear that went along, mostly just the usual suspects. A couple of pieces stood out in their goodness and I will comment on them. I will not show every one of the many feather sticks, birch bark fires or nit picky things that happened in a packed to the gills week.

Popped up a couple of hundred KM north of the arctic circle. This is a sign at the the airport, the dog sled parking area :lol: . This ain't Florida my friends.

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I rarely walked very far up yonder, most travel was by way of cross country skis. It has been a while since I was on a pair but was pleased that it all came back quickly. Uncle Lars quickly tightened up the group.

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Most of the big junk was moved by pulk. It had been a while for this activity too.

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Mr. Ray demonstrating what we would be doing in the following hours. The days were pretty short but it didn't get pitch black until fairly late. Still it was a jam to get every thing done before lights out on some of these drills.

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And Mr. BD in the foreground trying hard not to embarrass himself. Mostly I wore a combination of wool and the evil fabric of death ---- cotton. In this case a pair of M-1951 field pants and a Canadian Para smock. Gaiters were life savers.

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We built and used a few different shelters over the week.

A snow trench with cover. Shown is my sleeping system of a Snugpak Antarctic RE sleeping bag and Wiggy's ground mat stuffed into a Integral Designs Bivy all placed on a reindeer hide. I know that there is some discussion on if it is better to put the pad in the bivy or under the bivy. I am a in the bivy guy and for what it's worth so is Uncle Lars.

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With the cover and supports flipped off in the morning. You can just make out the danger red thing up at the top of the bag, this is my much loved pee bottle. At these temps it was like a little slice of heaven not to have to climb out at 02:00. Warm as a bunny too!!

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While we are on the subject of bivys and bags. It is really tough getting your junk back in the bags if they are snug. Everything you do you must be able to do in a pair of gloves. Check this out real good before you set sail. My bivy bag never went back into its stuff sack until the day I was packing to leave.

Also set up and used a heated tent. This is pulk gear all the way.

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Next up was a quinzhee. These are a bit of work, but if you were to be staying someplace for a few days, well worth it.

Pile snow, pack it down as you go.

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And then dig like a dog. As a note if you don't have a shovel in the far north you are in deep doo doo. I didn't do it but I will, every piece of exposed metal should be covered in hockey tape.

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Last edited by Blackdog on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:06 am 
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I'm very very very jealous Blackdog!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:19 am 
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Part two.

Of the shelters we build, the quinzhee was my favorite. It takes a considerable amount of effort to build and would not be suitable for a on the move shelter but... If you were going to be in a area for a while the effort would be worth it. The temp inside stabilizes and allows for doing chores with out gloves. Two thumbs up.

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Like I said, don't forget your shovel. If I was to move far north I would get a different shovel for the powder show. A longer handle would have been real handy and easier on my back.

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Shelter, check.

Food.

A week is really not a long time but we did do a couple of food finding drills.

Ice fishing is a good way to go, if you can get thru the ice. If I lived far north I don't think my truck, snowmobile or pulk would be without an ice auger.

Drill a hole and rig your line.

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Pack the hole with spruce and cover to prevent freezing.

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Wander off and move some snow around for some chore and come back in a day.

Dinner is served.

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One other passive food collection method is snares. In this case Ptarmigan snares. As always there is a method to the madness, more thought went into this snare than you would think. The Ptarmigan doesn't like going on the side of little snow humps so he walks directly over the hump and hangs himself on the way down. The fencing of the trap line is made with the Ptarmigan's favorite food with the fence next to snare being stripped of the birch buds inducing the bird to start poking around.

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And riding the trap line. Like lots of things up there, setting trap lines is easier done as a communal effort.

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There is also larger animal life, I guess if you wanted to take your life into you own hands you could in fact eat a Sammi's reindeer. In addition to being quite illegal I am pretty sure that the Sammi fella who owns the deer will not be a happy camper.

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Anyway, lots of stuff happened in the week, lots of lessons learned and lots of fun was had (in a frozen kind of way).

I guess I will finish up by saying that the key to moving around in the cold is being able to regulate your temp. I constantly cycled from dressing fairly light with a good wind shell while moving around to putting on the "mother ship" coat and heavy hat for standing around doing my best of soak up the lessons. Getting too sweaty is a not a real great idea. Adjusting your layers even if it takes up valuable time is the only way to go.

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Have fun and stay safe out there.

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Edit to add a couple of notes on gear + and -.

The pieces of clothing a gear that I took and shined were:

The Snugpak sleeping bag. Well thought out. The upper body baffle works like a charm and the lower foot portion is double tough for dealing with boots. Not One hundred percent sold on the center zip but for cold weather it is really quite nice since it is zipped up tight all the time. Quite warm enough at these temps. Bought it as used surplus, but you would never know it had ever been used even once. I think it was a good bargain and a real keeper.

M-1951 field pants. Roomy enough, really roomy enough. The old cotton was weaved tight enough to keep out the wind and they dried fast enough.

Surplus Swedish wool gaiters. Double plus good and at $5 a smokin bargain.

Mother ship Swedish surplus parka, warm and came down low enough to cover a good portion of the legs. I grafted on a M-1965 cold weather hood. Looked a little funky but worked. Once again a smokin bargain.

Thank you USMC. I wore a USMC happy suit jacket each and every day as a layer. Pretty good gear and showing up as surplus. I normally wear a large but got this in a medium long, perfect fit. The mesh inner pockets rocked for drying stuff on the move.

Patagonia Expedition socks. Insanely expensive and worth it.

If you haven't tried reindeer hide, you should. A lot of it comes tanned for interior use. If possible skip that and go for more raw version.

The big Fjallraven hat works real well, I slept in it every night. The camo hat is a UK MOD field hat. Looks to be based on the Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap (or the other way around). Having used both, the surplus version smokes the Lowe Alpine hat in every way. Maybe the best cold weather field hat I have ever used.

Goretex in my humble opinion just plain doesn't work so well as a outer layer in real cold. As a side note: I double strength believe that gortex (or insulated) boots suck in real cold, just real hard to dry. The boots I used were some old school all leather Merrel boots with no Goretex, sized large enough for plenty of socks. If I was to be hanging for long up yonder I would quickly find my self in a pair just like the locals wear. Kind of hard to find but I would most defiantly invest in a pair. The pair I took worked well enough for this drill, not stellar but good enough.

Gloves and Mitts must have removable liners for drying. I rotated between two pairs of wool glove liners on a regular basis. Cold injuries to hands or feet will put a real B slap on you and the group.

Merino wool, what can I say, science hasn't managed to top this stuff yet. I took a mish mash of brands all worked well.

The big negative was my shovel, it works great for what I have been using it for but to move the massive amounts required for this drill a longer handle would have been really really nice.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:48 am 
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Cool post blackdog. Blood on the snow when ice fishing is a win. I liked the tent stove as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Blackdog-

Awesome, awesome stuff, thank you for sharing :D ! I, too, am very jealous, but must ignore that to ask my questions:
* Do Uncle Lars or Mr. Ray wear cotton in the deep cold? (And was there anything cool/unexpected you learn about layering from meeting and working with them in person?)
* Can you elaborate on the hockey tape comment: is covering exposed metal to avoid accidentally sticking your tongue to it, or does it help somehow with snow shoveling?
* You said you were in classic leather merrells, but what kind of boots *do* the locals wear that knocks it out of the park? After my tipover, I definitely, definitely believe that gore-texed footwear just does NOT dry out, even though I still like my insulated boots for a lot of the other uses I put them through.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Woods Walker wrote:
We attempted a bow drill friction fire however most of the Eastern White pine had trapped frozen water inside. I used Maple for the block, hardwood branch for the bow, paracord for the line, Eastern White pine for the spindle and both pine and maple for the fireboard.

Working on the spindle with my neck knife.

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Block, bow and spindle.

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Here is a short video clip of one of our attempts at using the "bow-drill" method. Woods Walker is standing on the board, his colleague is using the bow-drill (and was by far the best at it!) while I videotape:


Unfortunately we were unsuccessful but learned lots, I'm confident that in a drier environment we would have been successful and if our lives depended on a fire that day we would have kept going for hours more if needed!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Excellent post Blackdog, wish I was there :D I'm assuming that was Ray as in Ray Mears? The quinzee hut is the shelter I would build if needed, having stayed in them in -40 and worse I agree they are very comfortable. Great post, thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Bravo, Blackdog. I too am jealous of your trip, I think Ray Mears should be in every ones BOB ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Canadian guy.

We had all the right things. A Maple bearing bock, white pine spindle, bow with paracord and in that video we used a White pine squaw wood limb for the fireboard. Not sure if a branch still on the tree counts as squaw wood or even if the term is politically correct. :lol: All of the wood had frozen moisture inside and that didn’t help. Doing a friction fire on the fly and not in the back yard with premade or tested components isn’t easy.

Worse still I was taken out of the action by a devastating boo-boo. :mrgreen: I guess with your kit a closed airway or amputation is treatable but boo-boos, not so much. You did a bang up job with the fire steel and Yellow birch bark. The larger chucks seem to burn forever. As stated if someone can’t start a fire with that they're dead!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:40 pm 
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all the recent entries are great! this contest, just like last years winter contest will be very hard to judge. there is something i like in EVERY entry so far!

blackdog - your trips, photos, skills shown, and thoughts on gear are always some of my favorite things to read on the interwebs. :D

woodswalker - looks like you boys had a great time. tipi row kicked ass! it really is amazing that you made it out after such an injury, and it was 9F... you da man! :lol:

the only fail i see is the LIGHT sam adams.... :lol: again great trip, thanks for sharing!


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