After action report : ackley wildlife area hike

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Tango3, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Wanted to get out today,took my digital slr camera and lenses out to a wildlife sanctuary near here..The plan was to set up in a "natural blind " spend sometime sitting on a trail and see what crawls out of the water.

    conditions: 6-8" of wet grainy "corn" snow., temps lower 40's .Heavy fog turning to mist changing to steady rain with a little wind.after a 45minute walk in stopping to regulate sweat..I found a culvert with alittle open water and furbearer tracks around it ( though they were frozen and probably at least a day old). I set up a smal tripod behind some fallen limbs, spread out a vietnam era gi poncho and unrolled a green gi sleeping pad for insulationtion to sit sooner than leaning back the mist turned to light rain.water collected on the pad, wet the seat of my pants i realized this wasn't gonna last long like this, so I strungout the poncho by thecords I leave attached to the four corner grommets.
    about 2.5 feet high. I can sit indian style behind the tripod....that was okay till the rain got heavier and the wind came up blowing rain under the high tarp.getting wet and cold I broke out my cheap( coughlins) sheet metal campstove with alcohol fueled wick burnner and sierra cup filled it with snow and diced up some spruceneedles for tea. I rembered the apple I tossed in m pocket heading out the door I ate alittle, chopped the rest and tossed it in with the melting snow and spruce.Spruce tea is loaded with vitamin C,adding fresh snow as I drank settled the needles in the cup. Hot and tastey .

    I had rain running off theponcho where it should'nt of been, and After I realized I was having more fun stirring homemade tea than peering around the camera I decided to bug out of the leaky bivy and headback to the truck.

    What I did right:
    Wore wool swiss surplus pants and gaiters, even wet I was pretty comfortable. I brought the poncho with the atached paracord. I brought my sierracup/spoon and the small stove which I like more everytime i use it. I got some snow melted and warmed up quickly and left it on the heat while I was there.I brought my favorite small Sheath knife, I am never without my swiss army pocket folder; but I used the back of the sheath as aclean cutting board to finely dice my spruce needles.I watched my sweat hiking in and backout, stopped to remove a hat to dump heat as necessary.

    what I did wrong:
    I didn'teven look at the forecast for today. I set the poncho up with the emphasis on taking pictures rather than staying dry, so I had water running off itin the wrong places, and set it up too high, once the rain really hit and the wind started to pick up I would have been drier putting the poncho on (and lighting acandle or the the stove undernearth ) or pitching the sides lower in a different spot to block wind blown rain: Nothing is ever a survival situation until its a survival sitiuation(i.e. i was a worrying abou taking pictures and getting wetter in the process)..Never did see a beaveror muskrat but i got a better take on the area ( snow shows crittertracks!!),

    I know how to make a debris shelter"wikiiup" and of snowcaves,(All forest debris was covered by the 8" of snow) but by the time I got something together I'd been soaking and in a bad situation. Having a readily available shelter roof makes the difference..
    I know how to build fire and have successfully started a decent fire in the wet( SUMMER) woods with a magnesium firestarter and birch bark tinder. but that litttle alcohol wick burner. is light,readily available, lights quickly, extinguishes easily (with the cap) You don't need to gather tinder, kindling or fuel. You could use small rocks to support your cup. but the little folding stove,.supports the cup above the flame securely keeps the fuel out of the snow.

    Its good to know how to burn a cookpot into a stump with stones and cook with fire and hot rocks, but you may not have the time or energy .This little el-cheapos stove and acohol fuel cannister/wick have earned a permanent place in my "kit". I did head back to the truck around noon as I realized I wasn't seeing anything but was getting wetter..Got home devoured a pot of coffee and half bag of little donuts.

    Knowledge is a good thing but things could have gone against me without a few simple pieces of kit.When you need acook pot/ cup NOW it really doesn't matter that you "could " make one wth whats in the environment
  2. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Sounds like you had a real trip there. Cold rain is indeed a bad thing when you aren't prepared for it, though sounds like you took the situation in hand and made it through. The key to survival experiences is survival. If you make it through a situation, seems like you did a good job. Weather forecasts are your friends, though sometimes, as you know, some things are overlooked. We can't be prepared for everything, though we must do our best to meet any situation. You could have been totally prepared for rain and cold and then be grabbed up by bigfoot. Haha.
  3. pizzamonkey

    pizzamonkey Monkey+++

    Nice Post Tango

    I really enjoyed it,,,The nice thing is that we all learn alittle more everytime we go out, Learning is a continuing experiance. I saw a great site to build some little alcohole stoves called sounds like you really come to love em.. Happy New Year[applaud]
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