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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:20 am 
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NYKh has spent the last couple of months orgnaizing a summer backpacking trip to really test out our 3-day BOBs. This past weekend, Friday 7/23/10 to Sunday 7/25/10, we did just that. We decided to hike the Ramsey's Draft trail in George Washington National Forest here in Virginia. http://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/RamseysDraft/

In short, it was a great weekend, and we all learned a lot. Both from each other, and a few things the hardway. We had many different discussions on ZS, prepping, survival, and such. MaxRite had a camera, so we should have some pictures forthcoming! So onto what happened:

Thursday, NYKh, MaxRite, and I carpooled down to a local hotel and spent the night. This allowed us to get up early and hit the trail first thing in the morning. The plan was get from the parking area to Hiner's Spring the first day. Which we estimated was a 9 mile hike, on the western part of the loop. The trail was very well maintained and there were several campsites along the way. In the morning for every 45 minutes we walked, we took a break for 15 mins. This worked out well. When we stopped for lunch, we broke out some food and filtered some water from the creek the trail was running along. The trail crossed the creek a number of times too, but we were able to hop from rock to rock to get across. Lunch lasted for about an hour, and then we started on the last section of the trail up to the spring. I was leading everyone down the trail when we all heard a very distinct noise. Sure enough there was a rattlesnake about 7 feet away. I did an "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit" as I started backpeddling down the trail. NYKh said, "Is that what I think it is?" Needless to say getting that close to a Rattler freaked us all out. We decided to go off the trail and flanked around it, and keep going. This section of the trail was all uphill and in the afternoon record breaking heat (90+ degrees) it really kicked our asses, but we were determined to get to the top and see the spring. Which we finally did, and made camp for the night. We were joined by a few friendly deers who were grazzing nearby.

Saturday morning, MaxRite and NYKh went up to the peak, Hardscrabble Knob, and tested NYKh's Handheld Ham radio. I stayed in camp and watched our gear. Around noon we were ready to head back down. Because we were unsure if there was any water sources on the eastern part of the loop we decided to go back the way we came. The plan was to go a little more than half way and setup camp. We pasted the place were we saw the Rattler and thankfully it wasn't there. Later on we were crossing the creek at one point, we spread out to find the trail maker on the other side, MaxRite and NYKh found it on the left of two downed trees, however I was on the right of the trees. I was about to climb over the first tree when I heard a noise that we were all familiar with from Friday. Sure enough, I found another Rattlesnake between the trees. I was a lot closer to this one, MaxRite and NYKh had already walked by it too. Needless to say I continued down in the creek until it met up with the trail again. We kept on the trail and made it to our destination, and setup camp for the night. Again we had a number of deer showed up to see what was going on as they grazed in the evening.

Sunday we packed up and headed out first thing in the morning. We got in the car and proceed to the closest IHOP and feasted for late breakfast. IHOP has become the customary location of choice after VA events. :D From there we all headed home for some much needed showers and cold beverages.

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


Last edited by Murph on Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:47 pm 
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You didn't say much about your gear. What did you learn about your BOBs while you guys were up there?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:23 pm 
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In no particular order:
> Camelback bladders are a great way to hydrate on the go while hiking, but a Nalgene is better for around the camp, I'm glad I had both.
> My idea for filter & purifying water would have been extremely time consuming, I'm glad MaxRite and NYKh had better setups that they let me use.
> My SaberCut hand chainsaw can take down a 5" diameter "widow maker" tree when operated by two people. I have no doubt it could have cut down larger trees too.
> My Eureka Solitaire worked good and was light.
> I brought the right amount of food, but would have liked more trail mix. It was really good.
> My pack trapped a lot of heat against my back which was not good.
> My Brunton Raptor stove and Space Saver cup worked great for heating water and food up.
> My mini-FAK covered the group needs.
> Always bring more paracord than you think you'll need. You'll wind up using it.

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Pics are coming up sometimes Wed. Wont have a chance to process them tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:20 pm 
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Neat trip report!
Murph wrote:
...We were joined by a few friendly deers who were grazzing nearby.
... Again we a number of deer showed up to see what was going on as they grazed.

Shenandoah Deer = Ticks = Risk of Lymes Disease ...make sure to be alert for signs/symptoms these next couple days.

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Locked, but left here as an example why the PAW will suck beyond imagination. You people can't even get along when there isn't stress and starvation. Imagine what a bunch of raving lunatics you'll be when you have to skip a couple meals and wipe with the Sears catalog.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:20 pm 
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FanaticalModerate wrote:
Neat trip report!
Murph wrote:
...We were joined by a few friendly deers who were grazzing nearby.
... Again we a number of deer showed up to see what was going on as they grazed.

Shenandoah Deer = Ticks = Risk of Lymes Disease ...make sure to be alert for signs/symptoms these next couple days.


Yeah, surprisingly we didn't notice any ticks. I was all ready to try out my new Tick-Key.

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:32 am 
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Havent seen any ticks in 3 days and havent found any on me either. Which is surprising. Also pretty weird, in three days havent seen a single squirell. And the forest was chuck full of house flies....

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:51 am 
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Well, dip me in DEET and call me a dunderhead!
I never would have expected the absence of ticks. :o

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PistolPete wrote:
Locked, but left here as an example why the PAW will suck beyond imagination. You people can't even get along when there isn't stress and starvation. Imagine what a bunch of raving lunatics you'll be when you have to skip a couple meals and wipe with the Sears catalog.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:07 am 
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So far I’ve been tick free as well.

I’ve found that a generous application of DEET on socks, pant legs, shirt collars and sleeves and also hat; then blousing pant legs, keeping long sleeves rolled down and shirt buttoned does wonders to help deter tick collection.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:27 am 
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I bloused my pants too, and hit them with the juice. I had a short sleeve untucked shirt, so I was expecting at least one or two. So it just looks like it was no ticks, and more than enough rattlers.

> Another thing I'm glad I brought was 3 handkerchiefs / bandannas. There's so many different things they are good for, and they dry out quick when they get wet.

Here's some of the links I promised to pass along:
Olicamp Space Saver Cup
"On A Boat" (Lyrics NSFW)
Tick Key (we didn't use)
Equipped to Survive (Doug Ritter)

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:33 am 
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You need to investigate some additional padding for the shoulder straps and waist belt of your bag (you know about the waist belt). When I was carrying it in your place I was a little surprised at the shoulder strap construction.

That might help eliminate some of the shoulder irritation.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:36 am 
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Coffee filters....

I was cleaning out the filter and there was an abundance of silt in the main housing from some of the water locations.
I think a coffee filter wrapped around the intake bulb and secured with a rubber band might add an additional level of protection/pre-filter.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:36 am 
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NYKh wrote:
Coffee filters....

I think a coffee filter wrapped around the intake bulb and secured with a rubber band might add an additional level of protection/pre-filter.

Coffee filters make decent prefilters but they do slow down the process.
They are also good for keeping in your car in case you need to get some water for your radiator from the nearest ditch.

Pantyhose also makes a good prefilter but not as fine as a coffee filter. It also works as a prefilter for your air cleaner in a dusty environment and can be used as a v-belt or cordage.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:08 am 
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I’ve been doing some more research on the water filter cartridges.
The new Katadyn filters that are a replacement for the old PUR filters are not iodine impregnated like the old PUR ones were, also the new filter incorporates the charcoal in the core of the filter instead of the external post filter.

Like me, there seems to be a lot of discussion about the pro and cons of the change.
I hate the bit of iodine taste, but have grown accustom to the added level of filtration/purification.
Here is a link to one of the discussions.

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-r ... 62585.html

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:02 am 
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Sorry if I missed it, but can you post a link to the water filtration system you are using. I'm getting my gear together for my search and rescue bag and I haven't yet chosen which water filtration to go with. I need it for a max of three days. Thank you!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:44 am 
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GirlTracker wrote:
Sorry if I missed it, but can you post a link to the water filtration system you are using. I'm getting my gear together for my search and rescue bag and I haven't yet chosen which water filtration to go with. I need it for a max of three days. Thank you!


I brought along the military Aquamira Frontier Pro, but didn't use it:
http://aquamira.com/military/frontier-p ... er-system/

NYKh had an older version of the Katadyn Hiker Water Filter:
http://www.rei.com/product/695233

MaxRite had the Katadyn Vario Water Filter:
http://www.rei.com/product/750927

I'm probably going to buy a Katadyn Hiker after having a chance to use both.

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Another takeaway from the trip is I’m considering going back to using a tent. A gortex bivi and a tarp work well, but I was impressed with Max and Murph’s tents. The weight of the tents was not much greater than my bivi bag , trap combo and the benefits are worth the extra pound.

Murph’s tent:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___23888
Max’s tent:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___23889

Of the two I think I would go with the Spitfire.
Or possibly coming up with a bug netting for the opening of my bivi.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:06 pm 
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Murph wrote:
GirlTracker wrote:
Sorry if I missed it, but can you post a link to the water filtration system you are using. I'm getting my gear together for my search and rescue bag and I haven't yet chosen which water filtration to go with. I need it for a max of three days. Thank you!


I brought along the military Aquamira Frontier Pro, but didn't use it:
http://aquamira.com/military/frontier-p ... er-system/

NYKh had an older version of the Katadyn Hiker Water Filter:
http://www.rei.com/product/695233

MaxRite had the Katadyn Vario Water Filter:
http://www.rei.com/product/750927

I'm probably going to buy a Katadyn Hiker after having a chance to use both.


Thanks! I added that second Katadyn filter to my shopping list. It's not a bad price compared to some (of the same brand) that I've seen. Those tents are also a pretty good price though the UV warning was odd. I may have to research that a bit more. Thanks again!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:54 pm 
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Sounds like a good time was had by all. I wish I could have gotten time off work for this, but I'm already slotted for two weeks in September. Let me know when you guys are going to do something else like this and I'd love to come along.

Oh, and subscribing for pics :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:27 am 
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I am curious to hear what model of HT ham radio was used and how it performed. Were you happy with it's performance and would you take it or other radios with you on future trips?
Thanks,
Steve, KC5SAS

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:58 pm 
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Sorry for the delay. Not exactly my usual DSLR-quality pics, but whatever.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:25 pm 
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Sweet, where's the pick of the second snake?

Oh yeah, there's only one of you...

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:54 pm 
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NYKh wrote:
Sweet, where's the pick of the second snake?

Oh yeah, there's only one of you...



Dude, it was a total blur. Murphs butterflies, most photos of me, all pics of deer... Next time I'm just gonna take my big camera. With it, I could have taken the photo of a rattle worthy of Nat Geo.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:58 pm 
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Btw Rob, check this out. This should give you an idea what I was talking about

http://www.google.com/images?q=stalker% ... 80&bih=857

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