after action report

If you’ve ever spent time in the military you know about after action reports. It’s when you do a post-mortem of  your operation. I was thinking about our trip to the Brazos yesterday, what we did and what we could have done.

Item 1: I didn’t have my spork in my day bag. Consequences: I got to whittle a small spatula/scoop so that I didn’t have to eat with my nasty fingers. Result: I got a little bushcrafting in by doing some field expedient tool making. Conclusion: It was a net wash. I was still able to eat my lunch and got a little wood craft practice.

Item 2: I didn’t take my personal hygiene pouch. Consequences: I had nasty hands and funky teeth. Result: I had to make an eating utensil. Conclusion: Hands were not a problem, but I would have like to have my toothbrush so that the vultures didn’t think something died in my mouth. Nothing worse than having a buzzard perched on your lower lip.

Item 3: I didn’t take my Esbit stove. Consequences: I had to fore go my customary tea or coffee on the trail. Result: I stayed hydrated with water and didn’t have spend time marking trails with Lil Harry. Conclusion: It was probably better for me from a health standpoint.

Item 4: I left my Zip-Lock foraging bags at home. Consequences: I didn’t have anything in which to store the cottonwood fluff that was all over the trail and I had no idea if it made a good natural tinder. Result: I had to ask some of my buds on the bushcraft forums. Conclusion: It would have been better if I’d just tried it out, but I was thinking in terms of the burn bans in effect. I did, however, learn from the guys that it is a good flash tinder, but it reeks when burning.

None of these things were serious or life threatening, but the trip would have been a little smoother if I had them. Now I see why Ain’t Leo is such a bug about her lists. She’s made a believer out of me.

Happy trails to all. And for those of you joining us for Memorial Day — we are so looking forward to seeing you all again.



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