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#238138 - 12/29/11 02:12 AM Lessons learned in the winter woods
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
On vacation and I spent the day on foot in a remote area of the Northwoods of Minnesota. I was backpacking and hunting small game with my trusty old Remington .22 pump. I walked miles back along old logging trails. It was windy, 26 degrees F and there was about 3" of snow.

As I have confessed before, I pack heavy. I had a weeks worth of redundant emergency provisions in my truck, but in addition to layered seasonal clothing and light pac-boots, here's a list of what I carried with me on the trails and a few learnings.


On my person:


Leatherman Wave
Camillus clip knife, large, one hand opening, part serrated
Hugsby P-31
Bic
27" bandana
Magellan GPS
cellphone
rifle and 150 rds ammo

On a lanyard clipped to my beltloop:

firesteel, compass, Fox whlstle, fauxton light, Vic Classic

In rucksack

Mora MG Clipper
Becker BK-7
Fiskars retractable saw
Trangia 27, 6 oz alcohol, potstand, windscreen
Coleman Max cooking pots, Coleman coffee cup
Steel bottle and 27 oz water
Remington headlamp
50' 550 paracord
1/2 roll TP
map
bic and firesteel
Ramen soup
tuna in foil
peanuts and sunflower seeds
Constant Comment and coffee tubes
oatmeal
cocoa mix
fork and spoon
military 72" x 24" headwrap
Hot Hands
full PSK...too much to list, but just fits in a quart zipper bag
Extra gloves, scarf, winter hat, socks

Way back in the pines, I found an old campsite that some deer hunters had used. The ground was windswept and relatively clear of snow. While I was waiting for my water to boil, I amused myself by seeing what I could find that might be of use had I lost my rucksack and been in a survival situation.

Found:

4 feet of bailing wire,
1 'S' hook
1 foot of cordage,
two 3' pieces of plywood
a quart bottle
4 small nails
25 softball-sized rocks in a ring
a pile of pre-cut and split pine wood

Game animals seen = 0, but a lot of tracks. I attribute that to the wind.
Other people seen = 0
fresh vehicle tracks on the forest road = 0
planes overhead to signal = 0

So, with only the items on my person, I could have used the found items to make a shelter and a fire with a reflector, and melt snow for water. Would have been hungry though.

Things I should/should not have done:

I should not have worn my lightweight Maine Hunting boots....even with heavy socks and 4MM wool felt insoles, feet were borderline cold all day.

I should have worn my LaCrosse Icemans. Harder to walk, but much warmer and better snow tread.

I should not have left my sunglasses in the truck. It was cloudy when I set out, but an hour into the hike, the sun came out and glinted off the snow, nearly blinding me.

I should not have eaten 4 figs before heading into the bush.....




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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238141 - 12/29/11 03:12 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
"I should not have left my sunglasses in the truck." - DS and I keep spares in our packs. They especially important near snow and water.

" I should have worn my LaCrosse Icemans. Harder to walk, but much warmer and better snow tread." - Amazing what a difference our footwear makes!


It sounds like, you were in great shape, Byrd, even with these lessons learned. That's the kind of prepartion and resourcefulness DH and I are trying to instill in our son. Awesome!


"Awesome! I should not have eaten 4 figs before heading into the bush....." - Ouch! (little giggle)
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Mom & Adventurer

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#238142 - 12/29/11 03:16 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Do you carry shelter other than clothes, Byrd?
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
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#238143 - 12/29/11 03:32 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1841
Loc: MINNESOTA
were you in cell phone range?..mine gives out when i leave Orr--
good pile of gear but you are right about the food which i always go heavy on..

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#238149 - 12/29/11 05:35 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Burncycle Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 529
Always cool to hear stories of outings!

Out of curiosity, you said the PSK fits in a quart sized bag -- is it small enough to carry in a cargo pocket then? If you get separated from your ruck for any reason all you'll have is what's on you

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#238159 - 12/29/11 09:17 AM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
bigreddog Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/02/06
Posts: 253
What is a headwrap? 6ft by 2ft?

Also short of instant shelter - something to wrap yourself in if you fall and break a leg...

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#238165 - 12/29/11 12:30 PM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: bigreddog]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: bigreddog
What is a headwrap? 6ft by 2ft?

Also short of instant shelter - something to wrap yourself in if you fall and break a leg...


It is a large OD military bandana made of thin soft cotton. Many uses.

In my PSK, I have a double AMK Heatsheet to wrap up in.

Thanks
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238168 - 12/29/11 12:36 PM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: Burncycle]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: Burncycle
Always cool to hear stories of outings!

Out of curiosity, you said the PSK fits in a quart sized bag -- is it small enough to carry in a cargo pocket then? If you get separated from your ruck for any reason all you'll have is what's on you


I could fit it in a cargo pocket, but it's fat and a little on the heavy side and weight swinging in a cargo pocket when I'm walking long distances drives me nuts. That is the reason that I have the items I consider most essential on a lanyard clipped to my belt loop at all times...even a walk in the county park.

Thanks,
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238169 - 12/29/11 12:45 PM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: CANOEDOGS]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: CANOEDOGS
were you in cell phone range?..mine gives out when i leave Orr--
good pile of gear but you are right about the food which i always go heavy on..


CANOEDOGS, my cellphone coverage fades in and out in outstate MN, but the phone very samll so I always bring it just in case... I'm taking advantage of the unseasonal weather by going out again today as soon as I finish my coffee (no figs). This time I'm heading South along the Mississippi valley to get away from the snow and cold wind.
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#238170 - 12/29/11 12:50 PM Re: Lessons learned in the winter woods [Re: bacpacjac]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
Do you carry shelter other than clothes, Byrd?


I always have an AMK Heatsheet with me. In my large daypack, which I don't usually carry when I'm hunting, I have a woobie and a military poncho in addition to a Katydin water filter (3 seasons) and the other stuff I mentioned. I do have a small tent and down bag which I bring in my full sized pack on planned overnights (too lazy for that type of camping now) Mostly now I set up camp out of my truck and range out from a base on day hikes. Thanks
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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