Last week I went to help a friend

Posted by: raydarkhorse

Last week I went to help a friend - 01/26/08 11:30 PM

Last week I went to help a friend of some do some work a remote section of his ranch. This section is a 40-acre parcel that is located 25 miles from the nearest town or home and out side our particular companies cell coverage. We went out for the day to work on a windmill and do some repairs on an old pole barn. As we drove into the gate around the pole barn the truck started puking steam and water, a quick check showed a probable blown head gasket. We didnít worry because my buddyís wife would come to see if we were ok shortly after dark when we didnít show up. But we know if that had happened I wouldnít be writing this. Unknown to us my friends wife (and only one who knew where we were going) was called away because her mom had gone into the hospital.
We did the work we had planned on and then we found some more to do. We had brought a lunch and a thermos of coffee, and since my buddy has over the years preached at me about being prepared and about keeping a kit in my truck. I left my kit in my truck knowing after so many years of preaching my best friend in the world would be well prepared for any problems. Again if that were the case I would probably not be writing this. After it got dark and Sandi hadnít shown up we decided we might need to think about making a camp for the night. When I asked my friend where his kit was he looked at me kind of strange and said in the truck. After a few minutes he did ad that it was in his other truck cause it was his normal driver. After a little digging we came up with 3 old Mreís that were over 10 years old, a couple of blankets and a couple of emergency Mylar space blankets and a large tarp. To make a longer story a little shorter we used the Mylar blankets and the tarp to close in a portion of the pole barn and were able to spend three fairly comfortable days and nights despite the temperature being in the high teens and low 20ís.It took Sandi three days to realized she hadnít heard from us and sent help. Parts of the Mreís were still edible (kind of) and we didnít go hungry. There is one tender looking steer that doesnít know how close he came to being supper. Lessons learned take your kit even if you think it is not needed and even if you think your buddy has his. Hay is great insulation on a clod night if used under and over you. The paper matches in old Mreís still work (thankfully) The most valuable lesson was Stay away from really old MREs chocolate it may not kill you but it will make you wish you could rip out your taste buds and the final lesson you can rag on your buddy for days on end when he thinks he is the cause of the problem.
Posted by: SwampDonkey

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/26/08 11:45 PM

Thanks for the story Raydarkhorse and glad to hear you and your buddy are alright.

Sounds like you did just fine with the limited equipment you had to work with.

Mike
Posted by: teacher

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 01:12 AM

Thanks for the story. And the reminder - always carry YOUR kit. A backpack with food, com. gear, some basic clothes and tools makes all the difference. $20 worth of stuff makes a huge difference out in the field.

Teacher
Posted by: raydarkhorse

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 02:15 AM

We knew hat there was no signal from past experieance so we didn't even carry our phones.
Posted by: SwampDonkey

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 02:17 AM

What did you have for EDC and did it help out?

Mike
Posted by: raydarkhorse

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 02:47 AM

My EDC was a Benchmade Sequel, a bandanna, a Fisher space pen, and a Mini Mag with a Niteize led and my Colt Commander. Most of my EDC is in my computer bag that I left in my truck too. I did use the Benchmade and my flashlight fairly extensively. If you donít have the led for your Mini Mag get it. Itís not as bright but it lasts a lot longer than the regular incandescent bulbs one set of batteries lasted for the entire time we were there. I also used the Bandanna to keep my ears warm
Posted by: Blast

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 02:54 AM

Wow, that reminds me of Chris K's story of being stranded on the island within view of the California costal freeway. It sounds like you did a great job with hardly any gear which show be the aim of all of us here.

Questions so as to learn from you:
How did you get water to drink?
How did you hang the tarp and mylar blankets?
What gear did you have on you that you used (pocket knife, multitool, flashlight, etc...)?
Dare I ask...toilet paper (from MRE's?)
What would you have done if Sandi hadn't showed up and how long would you have waited before doing something?

Thanks and great job!
-Blast

Posted by: raydarkhorse

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 03:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Blast
Questions so as to learn from you:
How did you get water to drink?
How did you hang the tarp and mylar blankets?
What gear did you have on you that you used (pocket knife, multitool, flashlight, etc...)?
Dare I ask...toilet paper (from MRE's?)
What would you have done if Sandi hadn't showed up and how long would you have waited before doing something?

Thanks and great job!
-Blast


We got water from the wind mill we repaired plenty of good water as long as you got it from the pipe intead of the tank.
To hang the tarps and mylar blankets we used some of the bailing strings on the hay rolls and tied them to the uprights in the pole barn
My pocket knife, mini mag and bandanna came in useful. The rest of my normal edc that I might have used was in my computer bag in my truck.
Yes the only toilet paper was from the MRE's and it takes skill and experience to use it properly I have it from my days in the military my buddy having never been in or around the military cussed a lot.
We were getting our gear together and were about to leave when help arrived.
Posted by: Blast

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 01:24 PM

Thanks, especially for the warning about the MRE TP!

-Blast
Posted by: NeighborBill

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 01:53 PM

For those of you less fortunate than I (having been one of Uncle's Lost Children for a couple of decades), let me explain the wonders of MRE toilet paper:

Inside a brown paper sleeve about 15x30mm marked "Lighthouse S.F. CA." (means packed by the blind) reside approximately 24 individual sheets, 100x100mm, of the thinnest mechanically possible toilet paper ever devised by the Devil.

From personal experience, using said packet gives you exactly two swipes about equivalent to 220 grit sandpaper. But, on the plus side, it WAS free (issued).
Posted by: Susan

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 03:00 PM

Even the railroad (BNSF) provides better TP than that!

Sue
Posted by: NeighborBill

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 04:17 PM

It's thinner than the tissue paper you use to stuff gift bags....
Posted by: wildman800

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 06:49 PM

Congratulations for doing so well.

Yes, warm ears are a MUST for those of us who have to slip 10 extra LBS into our backpockets everytime the wind speed gets above 20mph.

Yes, MRE TP is a FINE example of how the Gov't can screw up a 2 car funereal!!
Posted by: Susan

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 08:17 PM

You see? The ability to deal with a situalion is not limited by gear, but what you can devise in your creative brain. I'll bet if you hadn't had the stuff you had, you still would have come out okay because you were THINKING.

Nice job.

Sue
Posted by: gulliamo

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/27/08 11:48 PM

If town is only 25 miles away why didn't you just walk back the first morning?
Posted by: raydarkhorse

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/28/08 01:16 AM

What and give up the first adventure that I have had in years! We decided to wait as long as the Mre toilet paper held out, then walk out. Besides the first rule of being stranded is stay put as long as safely possible.
Posted by: gulliamo

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/28/08 08:26 PM

Fair enough. I was curious if there were other considerations such as physical ability, medical condition, weather, etc. and how you might have mitigated those if you had to hoof it.
Posted by: Russ

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/28/08 11:41 PM

Good experience to pass down, thanks. Good cell coverage can make up for a lot of mistakes and makes a lot of folks less responsible than they'd be without a phone handy all the time. If there was ever a time to double check kits, it's when you knowingly go out of cell coverage.

I feel much better knowing my EDC backpack would have been in the truck with my cellphone turned off inside. I hadn't thought about TP for that kit, but now you've got the gears turning. Stories like this make me appreciate my truck kit.
Posted by: raydarkhorse

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/29/08 01:42 AM

No serious physical considerations, I could have made it with no trouble but my friend is 11 years older than my 44 and has almost convinced himself that hes getting old. Besides it gave use an excuse for a camping trip when there was so much work my buddies wife thought we needed to be doing, and instead of making her mad she felt sorry for us. I have also added a new kit to my truck it's smaller than my full kit and it's small enough that I have no excuse for not having it with me anywhere I go from now on.
Posted by: Russ

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/29/08 02:30 AM

Sounds like the Camelbak kit I keep as part of the truck kit. Water, fire, shelter -- no food, but that's in the main kit (96 hr).
Posted by: cedfire

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/29/08 05:57 AM

Glad you and your buddy came through OK! I am sure that Sheryl Crow would have been proud of your limited usage of toilet paper.

A great reminder story to always carry your own stash of gear.

(And all of a sudden the roll of T.P. I keep in a Ziploc in every vehicle doesn't sound so crazy after all...)

Posted by: Dan_McI

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/29/08 01:59 PM

Originally Posted By: cedfire
(And all of a sudden the roll of T.P. I keep in a Ziploc in every vehicle doesn't sound so crazy after all...)


Not at all, but some think I am crazy for keeping a roll in my golf bag.
Posted by: SwampDonkey

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/29/08 02:04 PM

I agree with you fellows but have started to keep those thick blue shop towels in the truck instead of TP, I find them more multi-use (bandage, spills, check oil, wipe hands ...).

We also kept baby wipes in the outhouse at the hunt camp this year and they worked out great.

Mike
Posted by: Dan_McI

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/29/08 06:06 PM

I have wipes in both my BOB and my EDC, along with TP. I know people all over the world did not wipe as Americans do, but I consider something to do it with the closely follow behind air to breathe, water to drink, shelter, and food. It might come in front of food in many cases.

If I lacked toilet facilities with plenty of running water, wipes would be my first choice, along with alcohol gel.

Perhaps I should add wipes to my golf bag, but to date I've felt secure enough with just TP. I have not used it, but I also do not wish to leave soiled socks on the golf course.

Perhaps I should also make taking my EDC with me in my golf bag a habit. That would be a good idea.
Posted by: Dan_McI

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 01/29/08 07:23 PM

After you prior post, I went to the store and bought alcohol gel to add to my BOB and EDC. $1.29 for something small and simple is worth it.

Don't worry. I have never made any such additions to the golf course, and I don't plan on it.
Posted by: BobS

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 02/13/08 01:36 AM

A couple of things you didnít address

Did the truck die 100%? Most times with a blown head gasket it still runs, it just gets hot quick and runs out of water quick. Both could be addressed with some extra water and driving the truck for only 5-min at a time and letting it cool down and refilling the radiator (leaving the cap loose prevents pressure build up) and driving for another 5-min. In 5-min of driving you could easily cover 3 or 4-miles or so.

Why did you not sleep in the cab of the truck, itís insulated, water proof and wind proof? It would seem to be better then makeshift shelter and itís already made.

If itís only a 40 acre farm, why not walk the 40 acres to the house?
Posted by: raydarkhorse

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 02/13/08 02:56 AM

The 40 acres is a remote section that is not attached to the main property and is several miles away 40+ from his home and 25 miles from the closest house that we know of or the closest town.
The truck died we managed to destroy the main bearings (found out after we took it apart) and was knocking to the point we didn't think it was worth trying.
As far as sleeping in the cab of the truck we had a pole barn with three sides and a roof and we made a temporary wall from the tarp in the truck. There was hay to use to sleep on and to cover ourselves on top of the blankets that were in the truck. We had the choice cramped truck kicking each other all nights or being comfortable on and in a pile of hay. And we were also able to build a fire that we couldn't build in the truck.
Beside we were having a good time and it was a break from his wifeís honey do list.
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 02/14/08 05:39 AM

This would have been an ideal case for your friend to cache a few survival items in the barn just in case something like this happened.

If I was in his place, I would have assembled 3 or 4 caches and put them in save locations around the ranch.
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 02/14/08 05:45 AM

But then again ... re-readig the story I think that depending on Sandi coming after dark ... what if SHE faced a problem in the way, and she was alone.
Posted by: BobS

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 02/14/08 02:40 PM

Put an old cell phone and one of those hand crank flashlights with a charging port with any other supplies you cache. Around here you can find old cell phones for $5.00 at garage sales. No need for it to be active as they all work to call 911 without service. Even with a junk battery, the hand crank generator after several min of cranking would charge it enough to make a short 911 call.
Posted by: raydarkhorse

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 02/14/08 02:56 PM

When we went to get the truck with a flat bed traier we took a big metal job box and put it in the barn with some tools, blankets, and food. The box is screwed to the wall and locked and uses the same key as the gate key. A cell phone (for now) is useless in this area.
Posted by: Mike_in_NKY

Re: Last week I went to help a friend - 02/15/08 02:13 PM

+1 on the break from the honey do list!!