GUN AAR: Wetsu's trail of frozen tears 2008

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by ShackleMeNot, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. ShackleMeNot

    ShackleMeNot MINDSET

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MINDSET
    Last Saturday (12/20/08) I participated in a bug out exercise with 5 other misguided individuals. The event was organized by Wetsu the survival instructor from Tactical Response (www.TacticalResponse.com) who lives in northeastern Indiana.

    The goal was to act as if we had bugged out in the winter on foot and had to cover an 8 mile distance. Along the way we would test ourselves by having to shoot a pistol, start a fire, crack shelled nuts and various other probable tasks. We had only the contents of our bug out bags (BoB) to keep us clothed, warm, fed and safe.

    I drove up the night before and got a cheap motel room with two other participants who were coming from out of state. Before going to bed, I took the opportunity to reorganize the items in my BoB and confirm that I had everything packed the way I wanted. My bag weighs between 35 and 40 pounds. I also started a list of supplies I need to add to my pack. Once I was satisfied with my BoB's setup, I got a few hours sleep.

    The next morning we met the other participants in the parking lot of a local gas station. From there we traveled a mile or so by vehicle to a large state park where our trek would be held. Fortunately for us, Fort Wayne had experienced a heavy ice storm a few days prior so everything was coated in a thick layer of ice. So it was not only cold (high of 24 degrees), but also slick and dangerous.

    At around 9 AM we began our hike. The path was frozen over with a coat of ice which created a loud crunch when we walked. The ice also bent thorny tree branches down over the path where we had to push through, crawl under or find a way around. The first guy through had the benefit of the ice covering the ends of the thorns, but anyone who followed got poked and scraped excessively. Good times. After a few miles, we left the trail, bushwhacked and did some terrain land-nav for a few miles up and down hills with a few stream crossings thrown in for good measure. One of our merry party members brought his suppressed .22 pistol, so we practiced shooting small targets while cold and heavily clothed.

    Eventually we navigated back to the trail and hiked to our half way point where Wetsu had stashed some apples and walnuts (still in the shell) as examples of local foodstuffs that could possibly still be available at this time of year.

    Once we had had our fill of cracking nuts with our knives, boots and hands, we started the long trip back.

    We made our way a few miles back down the trail and Wetsu stopped us for a fire starting exercise. There was plenty of fuel available but most of it was coated with a thick layer of ice. We gathered what we could that seemed dry, but it was difficult to tell what was wet and frozen and what was just frozen. Out of 6 of us that attempted to start fires, only two actually became useful. Cold fingers and cold fire making ingredients complicate the process exponentially. Starting a fire when you really need one may not be as easy as you think.

    We made it back to the parking lot in the late afternoon and then headed over to a local private range for some live fire pistol and rifle work. Several members of our party had to call it quits after the park excursion. I shot a few mags from my carry gun at the range, but didn't stay long.

    Over all, I had a very good day despite being bone cold and exhausted at the conclusion of the hike. I made it to the end, pushed myself to stay moving and fought through the cold and pain. Test your Mindset, tactics, skills and gear prior to needing them to keep yourself and possibly your family alive.
     
  2. ShackleMeNot

    ShackleMeNot MINDSET

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MINDSET
    Some pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Sardaukar

    Sardaukar Active Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    7,194
    Likes Received:
    1
    That sounds like something I would like to try. Unfortunately, living in CA has me very unprepared for extreme cold weather.
     
  4. Dumbstixlars

    Dumbstixlars Ron Paul/AR-15/Glock/old car/Scooby/R/C croo OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    8,349
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    ATX
    Super cool. I would want to do this.
     
  5. jehan60188

    jehan60188 New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    0
    how much stuff did/didn't you use in your BoB? What do you have in there?

    Just out of curiosity I want to try this- but $400 for the course they're offering is kinda steep (not to mention the distance I'd have to travel to get there...)
    How do I get into this stuff for less (preferably much less)
     
  6. Keesh

    Keesh New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,333
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interested in what you had in your winter bag as well. I have a basic one in my car at all times. Ended up needing the winter boots and clothes in it this year when my alternator died with 2 feet of snow.
     
  7. ShackleMeNot

    ShackleMeNot MINDSET

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MINDSET
    This was a free exercise organized by a friend of mine. You could do the same in a park near your house.

    As far as the cost of formal training, don't skimp. $400 is a bargain to learn what you don't even know that you don't know. Tactical Response is a very good school and worth every penny.

    To answer what is in my BoB:
    - 1 x Gerber multi tool
    - 2 x hiking socks
    - 1 x wicking shirt
    - 1 x convertible pants
    - 1 x compass
    - 1 x magnesium bar
    - 3 x disposable lighters
    - Food stuffs
    - Snacks
    - Camelbac (it froze on the hike)
    - 1 x water bottle
    - Water purification tablets (I sold my Miox)
    - 3 x spare pistol mags
    - 1 x small binoculars
    - 1 x signal mirror
    - 1 x knife sharpener
    - 1 x major trauma medical kit (VOK)
    - 1 x first aid kit w/ meds
    - 1 x USGI poncho
    - 1 x small notepad
    - 1 x Sharpie pen

    I'm sure there are some other small items I'm forgetting but this gives you a general idea. Also, if we weren't in a public park, I would have had a rifle and at least 5 spare rifle mags.

    Items on my forgot or need to add list:
    - Duct tape (I have some in my med kit but want more)
    - 550 cord
    - D2 Rat 3 (I took it out to sharpen it and it never made it back in the pack. Tisk tisk)
    - I'm debating buying a dedicated camping stove for my BoB. I use one while hiking/camping, but always thought I'd simply rely on fire to warm me and heat my food/boil water for bug out. The stove would greatly simplify this in the short term as long as my needs did not exceed my fuel supply. It would also attract less attention (smoke and visible flame).
     
  8. ShackleMeNot

    ShackleMeNot MINDSET

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MINDSET
    I should add that I had what I normally would for EDC.

    2 knives, pistol, spare mag, wallet, cash, keys, flashlight...
     
  9. jehan60188

    jehan60188 New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    0

    check this out: http://ygingras.net/b/2007/6/a-better-soda-can-stove

    the last 2 comments are mine; now, in the tin now is a small candle, and small knife as well as everything you see there.
    the stove works well enough in my garage. but I'm not gonna bug out in my garage, so I gotta get some /real/ training in.
    I was thinking about going camping (i've never been), maybe going from a campsite close to the toilet/water/etc hookups, and going more 'primitive' each time
     
  10. ShackleMeNot

    ShackleMeNot MINDSET

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MINDSET
    Actually, I'm talking about a more technical stove. It would take forever to boil water on a small candle stove.

    Get out in the woods. Go camping for a night. Even if you do everything wrong, it's unlikely you'll be anything other than tired and hungry. There's no better way to learn than to do.
     
  11. ShackleMeNot

    ShackleMeNot MINDSET

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MINDSET
    I should have followed your link before responding.

    Interesting design, but I would still prefer a commercial compressed fuel stove.
     
  12. Keesh

    Keesh New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,333
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really like my MSR Whisperlite. Been running steady for the last few years.

    Thanks for the writeup!
     
  13. 2L Bunny

    2L Bunny "It's only a Rabbit"

    Joined:
    May 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    OR
    For a stove in my BOB I really like the Trangia alcohol stoves. They're effectively silent, a plus if in a potentially hostile area. And the alcohol can be used for lots of other tasks, cleaning, disinfecting, fire starting.

    They can also burn any high % alcohol. I use denatured in mine, and that's cheap and easy to find at most any hardware store.
     

Share This Page