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Old 09-13-2019, 12:29 PM
Vanishing Nomad Vanishing Nomad is offline
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So, lets talk about some SOP's everyone uses when they are out.

I'll start.

I always top off a container when I pass a water source.

I always study my map at the start of the adventure. I identify the datum lines (back stops for you kids out there), major features, and I take note of what direction I am walking away from my vehicle. I also make a note of where my vehicle is, in relation to large land features in case I cant (or dont want to)
come back the same way i went in.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:21 PM
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I USED to do a lot of fly in hunting and fish trips into strange areas. 90% of them were self-guided trips.

1- NEVER go on one of those trips unless you have complete topo maps for the area where you are going.

2- Immediately upon landing and getting squared away you memorize the skyline in relation to your camp so unless you have cloud cover right down to the deck you can navigate just by the horizon against the clouds or starlight.

3- No matter how you are traveling, canoe, boat or on foot, I always took a small emergency kit that carried food, shelter, fire starter, topo maps and 2 compasses so if the boat/canoe sank/flipped miles from camp I could be warm and dry out and fairly comfortable before making my way back to camp.

4- EVERYTHING of value was tied to the boat if the boat had built in flotation. Your gear does you no good if it is in 40 feet of water. If no flotation, I tied it to me with enough cord to not get in the way of my fishing/hunting, or I tied it to a separate life vest so when the vest floated I could retrieve my gear.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:46 PM
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Minimum 3 liters of water when I hike in the american southwest.

Always carry two light sources.

have at least 2 means of starting a fire.

the one liter canteen marks the turn around point. If your camelbak goes dry, that canteen is to get you back to civilization, even if you think the turn around is "not too much further ahead".
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:01 PM
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If I leave my porch I have a gun, flashlight, lighter, water and a walking stick. Sometimes a ham radio.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:14 AM
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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
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
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.
Those would require a lot of printing particularly the procedural flowchart

Anyway great points overall
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:33 AM
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When I go out overnight even if returning to a known area, which it usually is. I give a specific friend a printed plan of where I am, with start times where I expect to overnight and my return time and when to expect my "back home"call. This is just so there isnt a hey I haven't seen Joe in three days conversation.

Even though he knows most of the following it will contian some personal info. The boat I am using color tent. Though I would probably be the only one in area.

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.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:44 AM
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My SOP started before the trip at home. Looking at the maps of the area I was going to backpack and planning emergency routes in the event of bad mountain weather or injury. I always had at least two that were intersecting the route I was taking.

I never backpacked alone. Never backpack or hike alone. You can never be confident, "I am in good shape and it isn't that far I can hike alone.

I have been very close to rattlesnakes and black bears. Just out of strike range of rattlesnakes. Thirty feet from a black bear in the dark coming back to my tent from a short stand up potty break. The bear "gruffed at me Loudly".

Leave plans with people you know about you travel routes and escape routes. Leave a printed out plan in am envelope Marked Travel Routes with your initials on the dash in your vehicle. If you are reported missing Emergency Personnel may break you side window to get the info. Where we backpacked in the winter cell service was not always available.

We always had extra food that didn't require cooking. We always had two stoves and ample fuel and water.

Now I know this is very basic information to most of you here. But there are always new people coming in looking for information.

This is a very short list of SOP's. Many of you will add much more.
Happy Trails..... BASS
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:10 PM
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Over 90% of my hikes are alone. It just works out that way.
DEPENDENT UPON the area to be hiked and the probability of running across someone, in remote areas with no cell service, I never do a day long day hike without 3 days of food.
Just in case of illness or injury and you can't make it out, you don't run out of calories when you need them the most.
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:09 PM
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I keep a detailed checklist for every kind of hiking/camping trip I take. I have almost 50 years of wilderness experience so I have a good idea as to what works in what condition. Each list is broken down into categories and is tailored to a specific activity: backpacking, car camping, canoe/raft trip, etc. Backpacking will have the lightest and minimum of things, where canoeing/rafting trips will be larger and more diversified, which means heavier. Weight vs function is constantly being evaluated.

My gear is kept in large bins divided into categories like shelter, kitchen, foul weather gear, etc. I use the list to pull items and check them off as I'm packing. This way I don't forget dish soap or can opener, etc.

During the trip I write notes at the end of every day describing weather conditions, terrain, and time it took to get to each destination.

Before every trip the stove set up is thoroughly tested to be sure its running at peak. And the water filtration system is carefully checked for completeness and function.

At the beginning of each season I set up the tents to examine for problems. (I have 4)

At the end of every trip I review the notes to determine if the list needs any additions or deletions.

Even on trips that I've done multiple times, there is always something to new to learn, something to add or subtract. My latest addition to the list is a small solar charger for phones/ipads/gps. This is something I never needed until recently.

With my lists, maps and notes I can be comfortably packed for any trip in about 90 min, including the stove/ water filtration check, knowing that I have what I need and haven't over packed. One more thing... I ALWAYS check NOAA the morning of departure and ask any Rangers I encounter about expected weather conditions.
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:59 PM
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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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Old 09-14-2019, 11:17 PM
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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.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:49 PM
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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!
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:01 PM
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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.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:11 AM
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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.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:08 AM
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Any of you guys with established written checklists care to share your products with us?
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:47 PM
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I write a material list.
Thats it.
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:03 PM
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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.
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Old 09-26-2019, 04:10 PM
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I dropped that SOP constrained mindset with my last DD214.
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Old 09-26-2019, 04:29 PM
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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
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