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Thread: What are you SOPs? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-12-2019 12:33 AM
TENNGRIZZ IMHO , SOP's should be based on one hobbies hunting , camping , hiking , shooting etc., life experience Military/1st responder ,etc. I tend keep a truck BOB / 3 day patrol handy when less than 100 miles from home INCH / 2 week sustainment if farther , on the farm a safari type vest etc. JMHO and S/FI!
11-11-2019 10:00 PM
Omgitsjoetime Always be prepared for wildlife!

Typical noise so you don’t come upon and startle anything!

Are you carrying anything that might attract a predator?

I always make sure whatever I have for defense is really ready to go. Whether it’s a gun, knife, or mace.

Know the different animals you might encounter and be prepared!

Know what the big game animals in your area are doing at the time of the year where you are! Are bears foraging for hibernation? What are the chances of running into a mother bear with cubs? Can you outrun your partner if a cougar attacks??
10-01-2019 05:05 PM
zuren Related to food - avoid any mixes (pancakes, etc.) that require anything but water. Nothing worse than pulling out a packet of something that needs eggs, milk, and butter.
09-30-2019 07:47 AM
ROCK6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanishing Nomad View Post
SOP for SHTF

Step 1 - Brew Coffee.
Step 2 - Slowly Drink Coffee
Step 3 -?
Step 3 - Keep the refill ready and hot...come on VN, you can do this
09-29-2019 08:05 PM
Vanishing Nomad SOP for SHTF

Step 1 - Brew Coffee.
Step 2 - Slowly Drink Coffee
Step 3 -?
09-28-2019 08:42 PM
ROCK6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vodka Wizard View Post
I've written a fair share. For their application they're great. For my purposes they were a "lowest common demonitor" level checklist for when I couldn't be there and often got to the Barney level when writing them as a result.

My group is small and competent. Anything we have set up would look closer to a battle drill you'd seen in the BN TOC than and SOP...

..but that's probably splitting hairs.
On the flip side, I've seen SOPs as big as the Bible...so big that nobody ever referenced it. I've always felt SOPs need to be focused on the more complex tasks, succinct, simply the essential steps or processes, and when you perform any drills or exercises, validate the SOP. I've eliminated a lot of stupid, redundant, pointless stuff in our unit SOPs when I found they were never used, outdated, or stupid.

I was on an exercise and review one of those Field-SOP novels when I came across the TOC procedures. There were three whole pages dedicated to the process of brewing up coffee That our Brigade S3 approved it and the BDE COM signed it shows that no one really even reads those massive procedural guides. I still chuckle at that: Where/how the coffee and silver bullet were stored, where to plug it in (the UPS so you still have hot coffee if you lose power), coffee filter installation (and removal), coffee measuring, having the emergency "spill kit" supplies on hand, maintenance and recovery (cleaning) procedures, troubleshooting procedures...three whole pages...ridiculously funny and a good example of a SOP-gone-wild

For those that want to know what an SOP looks like get a copy of a Ranger Handbook. Consider if you're in the leadership and there's a complex task, if you're incapacitated, or the top three leaders are absent, can the "next man up" still execute the mission or task? When people ask about military SOPs, I've seen the comical ones like brewing coffee, and I've seen the technical ones geared towards engineers. My favorite example is the basic SOP in the Ranger Handbook of establishing an ORP or patrol-base. It has purpose, methods, examples, priorities of work, distribution of work, security, entry/exit, etc. etc. etc.

Some of us have dealt with hundreds of SOPs over our careers. I've seen only a handful of SOPs that were actually easy to read, simple, short, and helpful as someone new to the team/unit. Think of a basic checklist of getting your home ready for a hurricane, blizzard/extremely low temps, etc. If you're away from home, could your wife, kids, family friend, neighbor, etc. grab a small notebook that explains all the preparations that need to be done, where equipment is stored, cut-off/shut-off valves, what's need to buy a the store if not already on hand, etc.?

The simple SOPs (with pictures) are helpful for young kids if you're not around. Backup generator procedures are another one as it's very much home-specific. Radio/base-station setup, link up procedures, communications PACE plan, etc. are all helpful if you've got several members in a family or group. SOPs are a good practice if you don't practice the procedures often, anticipate inexperienced/new members, a how-to-guide for critical functions if the leadership is incapacitated. Don't overthink them or make them complicated...but don't spend three pages on how to brew a cup of coffee post-SHTF

ROCK6
09-27-2019 04:02 PM
Vodka Wizard
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
But you're still thinking with a constrained viewpoint

SOPs are simply ways to update following "lessons-learned" or "how things are done" for new members of a team. Not every thing needs an SOP, but for those functions, tasks, operations, etc. that don't get used often or may be used by someone without the experience, they still have value.

ROCK6
I've written a fair share. For their application they're great. For my purposes they were a "lowest common demonitor" level checklist for when I couldn't be there and often got to the Barney level when writing them as a result.

My group is small and competent. Anything we have set up would look closer to a battle drill you'd seen in the BN TOC than and SOP...

..but that's probably splitting hairs.
09-27-2019 07:56 AM
Major Mjolnir
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
...Another update I want to make are some basic knots. I have used a handful of knots in the past with my tarp and hammock setups, but have switched to easier/faster tension devices. I want to add the knots back in as an alternative or backup. For me, knots are something I have to practice often or I struggle at remembering...or at least it takes me longer to get them right (and that sucks when it's cold, windy, and raining). At least with an SOP, I can add that back into my preparation and practice a few before and during the trip so if I do need to use a particular knot, it's something I've programed into my preparation and have built into my daily routine.

Good topic and some good thoughts and SOP actions...

ROCK6
My usual routine early in the morning as I sip coffee, peruse this site and listen to Hugh Hewitt is to practice my knot tying. It's usually dimly lit and I try to both tie and untie the knots without looking at them. I think most people under estimate how difficult it can be to do this in the darkness.
I do these three as well as several variations of them both left and right handed. I'm what I call a discrete motion lefty. I eat, shoot, throw a punch and hammer nails from the left side while I swing an ax, bat or golf club from the right. I started tying knots right handed when I realized how hard it was to teach the majority 'righty' kids in our group a few knots.
My 'go-tos' below left to right are ABOK #1053 the Lineman's Rider - later known as a Butterfly, ABOK #1054 the Farmer's Loop and ABOK #1010 the Common Bowline.
09-26-2019 07:42 PM
ROCK6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanishing Nomad View Post
I actually have an SOP for everything from the way I set up my camp, to how I make fire, even to how I pack my pack. NONE of it is written down though. It's all in my head from doing it a certain way, for so long.
Yeah, most of that stuff is built off a packing list for me. However, I've had a video camera that I made a "cheat-sheet" SOP for as it was new and I didn't want to pack the instruction book If you do enough of it, it does become second nature. I built some SOPs for an outdoors group of kids form our church (laminated instruction cards). Basic stuff, but they were pretty inexperienced:

Camp priorities.
Signaling methods.
Basic compass use, topo map features cheat sheet.
Water filtration / purification (mainly focused on avoiding cross contamination).
General distances of camp or poop spots from water sources.

Most of us know that basic knowledge off the top of our head. Aside from camping and backpacking, SOPs can be helpful when you get into group activities as many will likely not have the memory, experience, or knowledge of some aspects of "operational" activities.

ROCK6
09-26-2019 07:26 PM
Vanishing Nomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
But you're still thinking with a constrained viewpoint

SOPs are simply ways to update following "lessons-learned" or "how things are done" for new members of a team. Not every thing needs an SOP, but for those functions, tasks, operations, etc. that don't get used often or may be used by someone without the experience, they still have value.

ROCK6
I actually have an SOP for everything from the way I set up my camp, to how I make fire, even to how I pack my pack. NONE of it is written down though. It's all in my head from doing it a certain way, for so long.
09-26-2019 05:29 PM
ROCK6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vodka Wizard View Post
I dropped that SOP constrained mindset with my last DD214.
But you're still thinking with a constrained viewpoint

SOPs are simply ways to update following "lessons-learned" or "how things are done" for new members of a team. Not every thing needs an SOP, but for those functions, tasks, operations, etc. that don't get used often or may be used by someone without the experience, they still have value.

ROCK6
09-26-2019 05:10 PM
Vodka Wizard I dropped that SOP constrained mindset with my last DD214.
09-26-2019 03:03 PM
Buck91 Always take more water than you think you need. One time we did an "easy" 5 mile day hike and ended up on the back end of the loop in 90 degree heat with minimal shade, on extensive sand dunes with a jogging stroller, without any water left. The 20 inch pneumatic tires made it possible to finish but it sure did bring on the suck trying to climb all those dunes with the stroller.

We set out with roughly 2qts per person but no filter or purifier. Now I either make sure I have my sawyer or I carry more water in the heat.
09-24-2019 02:47 PM
Hick Industries I write a material list.
Thats it.
09-23-2019 06:08 AM
tc556guy Any of you guys with established written checklists care to share your products with us?
09-21-2019 11:11 AM
Major Mjolnir
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImStillHere View Post
...I have recently thought of adding a photo with physical data that could just be handed over to a search and rescue team as part of the print out. Minutes count if you are injured and immobile.
That is 'good practice' and something I do myself. In addition to this I will take the digital photo that I'm printing, make a copy and strip out the EXIF data it contains. Depending on the application you use 25+ editable text fields will be left into which I can insert a large amount of data. I can drop directions from mapping applications, minor locations to which I may divert, an entire Google Earth *.klm should I desire.
That way not only does a search team have a physical representation from which to start but multiple copies of your proposed trip agenda can be sent almost instantaneously to multiple S&R teams.
09-15-2019 09:01 PM
Vanishing Nomad I have been in situations like this as well. One trip to garden of the Gods had like zero water. Even the well that was once open to the public, had been capped off to prevent use by the new owners of the property.

We were, however, having flash torrential rains that lasted like 5 or 10 minutes. So now I have an SOP to stop where I am and pull my back up 5X7 ultralight tarp out of my rear cargo pocket and use it to catch rain if its falling.

Doing that literally saved me on that trip. It was my only reliable water source.

Also, similar to you, I keep a way to gather and transfer water to my filter system. In my case, it is a small collapsible dog bowl. That thing is a God send when water is hard to come by.

I use it with the tarp mentioned above, but also you can put it in a shallow puddle, fold it down and then un fold it capture all the water. Often, its the only way short of using a drinking straw to get water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
As an example of using an AAR to update my SOP for backpacking, after one trip during a pretty rough drought, water sources were literally trickles and puddles. Our filters are the Sawyer Mini's and filling those squeeze-bags from a small puddle is quite problematic. Just adding a 0.5oz bottom part of a plastic water bottle as part of our water collection/filtration kit made a significant improvement in speeding up water collection and filtration. So, while it sounds too simplistic or unnecessary to update the SOP on how to dig out a deeper hole for a trickle to collect in and use your cup to collect and transfer water to the squeeze bag...it's something that a novice can read and quickly understand if they find themselves in that situation. For me, it was just identifying a small addition to my packing list.
09-15-2019 12:49 AM
LuniticFringeInc
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
Having developed and written numerous military SOPs, many get them confused with more simplistic TTPs; however, I don't consider that a hard, fast rule and whatever you call it is immaterial as long as you're annotating and practicing it.

There's really no right or wrong way to develop an SOP, and they're designed too capture processes, procedures, actions, communications, etc. simply for the sake of consistency and often aimed at a group more than a single individual (although it's always a good practice regardless). Having an SOP for starting up a backup generator and switching critical circuits is a good example; if you're not there, can a family member pick up the SOP and follow it?

Another big aspect is take a process and determine the order for actions. Lessons Learned should always be used to update your SOP; reducing mistakes, problems, etc. is a critical function of an SOP.

Consistency and continuity are the main purposes of an SOP. While some actions are memorized, more complex actions allow the SOP to serve as a reminder so you don't forget a key point, step, or action.

For distance backpacking trips, I have a checklist-type of SOP. Determining start and stop points, shuttle services (if needed), daily-distance plans, water sources, terrain type, weather checks, communication plans, topo-map route maps, etc. One addition I've added in is identifying and locating areas I can bail if an emergency comes up; often it's where the trail crosses or parallels closely to a main road or comes close to a small town. It also of course includes a packing checklist and even a generic load-plan (just doing the old PCCs and PCIs). Heck, I even list the need to immediately conduct an AAR and locate a decent bread-and-breakfast along with a local craft-beer brew-pub

While I use this as my SOP, it's also something that my son could pull up and easily plan a trip while avoiding many of the errors most encounter for their first few trips. While many see SOPs as simply habit-forming actions, they can also be captured and shared with others to help them develop their own consistency and continuity for planning or executing certain events.

As an example of using an AAR to update my SOP for backpacking, after one trip during a pretty rough drought, water sources were literally trickles and puddles. Our filters are the Sawyer Mini's and filling those squeeze-bags from a small puddle is quite problematic. Just adding a 0.5oz bottom part of a plastic water bottle as part of our water collection/filtration kit made a significant improvement in speeding up water collection and filtration. So, while it sounds too simplistic or unnecessary to update the SOP on how to dig out a deeper hole for a trickle to collect in and use your cup to collect and transfer water to the squeeze bag...it's something that a novice can read and quickly understand if they find themselves in that situation. For me, it was just identifying a small addition to my packing list.

Another update I want to make are some basic knots. I have used a handful of knots in the past with my tarp and hammock setups, but have switched to easier/faster tension devices. I want to add the knots back in as an alternative or backup. For me, knots are something I have to practice often or I struggle at remembering...or at least it takes me longer to get them right (and that sucks when it's cold, windy, and raining). At least with an SOP, I can add that back into my preparation and practice a few before and during the trip so if I do need to use a particular knot, it's something I've programed into my preparation and have built into my daily routine.

Good topic and some good thoughts and SOP actions...

ROCK6
Awesome right up!!!

Im prior military and SOP's and Checklist (a very abreviated cliff notes version of a SOP) dictated every single thing we did no matter how many times as Weapon Techs we did a task! You cant screw it up if your following the SOP AND IF THERE IS A "surprise", the SOP often told you what your next course of action was. They were so simple, so detailed...the guy who checked in yesterday could have came into the shop and built a nuke like an old pro! Im a huge fan of SOP's and have many in its very own binder in my "library" even today!
09-15-2019 12:17 AM
arleigh Few of us realize we are not superman, though adolescents don't believe that yet.
It is important to note that anything can happen and if it doesn't you came out unscathed Praise God.
I have been rescued and I have rescued others. It was embarrassing that I was not prepared for that particular contingency. But there you go, no matter how prepared you think you are you get thrown a curve. It doesn't have to be life-threatening but a curve never the less.
A boy in the beginning of his hike, got his hand caught between two big boulders and he was hanging there helpless for days, ended up cutting off his hand to get free.

Getting impatient to do something, may have genuine urgency, but at the cost of what?

My S&R Alice pack weighed 70 lbs and my area was at 7000 ft elevation. I was accustomed to it,
I may not load it the same hiking or hunting under normal circumstances but I know how it can get out there and the situations other get stuck in as well.
Going alone or not Ham radio is a must, cell phones need a cell site, amateur radios can bounce signals IF you know how to use it. 2 meter is better than nothing. and they are not the brick they use to be.
If you know hams in the area that is a big plus. If you are new to the area introduce your self. Communications is #1 along with letting someone know what your doing and other details relative to you. Too much information? OK so how long has john been missing??
First aid is next, make sure nothing is broken missing or leaking. colloidal silver and the means to make more.
Next maps of the area, and check with forest service for information restrictions requirements and missing persons. Participating in a search is more fun than hunting or fishing, or camping.
Dress for the event weather and surprizes, boots hat, gloves, poncho.
I carry 3 or more flashlights, one for tracking one for blood and one for distance.
All lights and radio use the same AA batteries. SOP no deviation.
2 compass one for giving away.
Food that does not need to be cooked to consume.
Salt and pepper, in the event the situation is unexpectedly extended. sugar and creamer for coffee or tea. chocolate.
Several ways to make fire, and or a gasoline stove. (required in southern California. (No open fires)
Dish soap, for all washing in general.
Water and filters. coffee filter as a prefilter. also can be used as a paper towel and fire Modified Stanley cup for cooking and boiling water, and storing food between meals.
Spotting scope or microscope depending on the event.
Shoulder holster and .357 mag.
Bowie in a horizontal belt sheath backside.
climbing rope, rescue 8 and paracord.
If I know there is a rescue event, the rest of my climbing gear goes along. (if it is applicable).
Even if I am incapable of participating, my gear is made available to those that are.
09-14-2019 04:59 PM
NCalHippie If I am in my car, I always keep my gas tank above 1/2, always carry food and water, always carry shelter, always carry a knife (or three or more) and a hatchet, always carry cordage, always carry a rifle and pistol, always carry ammo, pots and pans and sometimes a couple of chairs and a fold up 6' table. Lately I have been carrying a Victor portable welder/cutting torch set, since I have no other place to keep it.

Oh, and cold beer, never know when you might get thirsty.
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