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micapguy
Recruit

Posts: 7
Unit: MIWG

« on: January 12, 2017, 08:38:12 PM »

Hello everyone.

I am a cap member of a few years now and am loving the experience. I have a ton of experience working in volunteer organizations, and It is my educated and experienced opinion that CAP is one of the best run orgs for its size. Yes there are politics and issues, large and small.......but CAP has some very good hallmarks of long term vitality that I only wish to see in other organizations. I find that a great deal of people who disagree with me on this lack outside perspective. Just my 2 cents.

Having said this, I feel CAP needs to seriously consider updating the GTM gear at all levels. I am newish to CAPs ES program, but I am an experienced backpacker and have 8 years previous of SAR experience.

Twelve matches (ever tried to start a fire with twelve matches?)
Leaf bags (relatively heavy, prone to water damage)
Change for a payphone
Meals in the form of MREs. MREs are full comfort meals, but they are heavy, bulky, and the same caloric intake can be achieved by packing dehydrated food.

Items of better value I would suggest. 8)
A poly tarp. You can even get ones with a space blanket built in.
Multiple, and plentiful fire starting methods
High proof rubbing alcohol.... antiseptic, firestarter, stove fuel, mess kit sanitizer, etc.
A small stove for 72 hour gear. Alcohol or isobutane. Light and cheap.
Small, proportioned meals. Dehydrated hamburger. Oatmeal. Pasta. Better caloric content for weight. Also, cheaper than MREs.

I think of gear in terms of a few major categorise. SAR gear, shelter, food prep, and medical. It is my humble opinion that the full current 24/72 hour gear misses the realism mark with its current list.

Please give me your opinions on this. :)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 08:45:29 PM by micapguy » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 08:58:22 PM »

It is my humble opinion that the full current 24/72 hour gear misses the realism mark with its current list.

You wouldn't find too many experienced people here who would argue that, it's at least 12-15 years old and predates
a lot of people even having a cell phone, but it does fit the mission, generally, and
is relatively inexpensive for FNGs who may not last beyond their first field day.  Most of the parts can
be found in your garage or kitchen, especially if you ever did any camping.

Unless you go to NESA or HMRS, you won't likely sleep in the field on a CAP mission other then training with that expressed purpose,
and when you do, the ORM generally dictates it's "car camping" and not in austere conditions, so the 72 doesn't generally need
to be ultralightweight aerogel and unobtanium.

With that said, you can pretty much use whatever you want as long as it fills the need, and as long as you can justify the
"thing" to the SET or GTL / GBD (i.e. "Where is your shelter?" "This is it right here.") no one will make an issue of your preferences.

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micapguy
Recruit

Posts: 7
Unit: MIWG

« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 09:11:59 PM »

I am all about inexpensive. We will leave behind others good SAR candidates if we make required gear too cost prohibitive. But a lot of better options are actually cheaper than the typical gear. MREs are expensive no matter how you put it (although I realize the regs say "meal," not necessarily only MREs).

The 72 hour gear is even inadequate IMHO for car camping. If car camping is officially the norm of 72 SAR gear situations, much of that gear should be geared towards the community rather than the individual. Have two large tents that stay in the CAP van or GTLs POV, have a full size camping stove. These could be unit property rather than individual items.

I guess my point is: if backpacking to a SAR scene is out due to ORM, let's make the ES 72 hour gear not be so backpacking-orientated and more geared to CAP van camping. In that case, full comfort should be strived for, because it means better refreshed GTMs. The 72hour gear can now be a duffel bag that's left in the vehicle....
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 09:28:04 PM »

In another thread I also read an experienced searcher advocating for "dehydrated food items."

I considered replacing MREs with dehydrated food items and rejected them. For two reasons.

Reason number 1. The instructions state "pour hot water and mix." You are in the middle of a sortie. Where speed is essential. At least that is what we are led to believe. Time to eat. Oops! How am I gonna heat this water? I am carrying a water bladder, I am not carrying a canteen, so I do not have a field stove and canteen cup! And if speed is essential, can I stop for 15 minutes to heat my water?!!! Are you advocating people to pack mess kits?!!! More weight!

Reason number 2. All dehydrated food items state "servings per package 3." Or "servings per package 2." Give me a brand that sells "servings per package 1" and I will reconsider this. The only food items that Mountain House sells labelled "portion size 1" or "1 serving" are their Cheesecake Bites, their Neapolitan Ice Cream, and their Ice Cream Sandwich. Hardly food.

Why is ration size important? Because you do not have refrigeration facilities in a sortie, nor capability to store uneaten food or repackage them. So either you overeat, eating 3 servings or you throw away food. You cannot open and repack these dehydrated food items. If you do, you loose vacuum and they absorb moisture, throwing away the advantage of long shelf life.

So, for these two reasons, MREs trump Mountain House and the likes.

MRE=one-serving; Mountain House=three-servings or more.

MRE=almost self-heating; Mountain House=long stop to heat and boil water.

I also know there are self-heating food, but that is bulkier than MRE with the same problem of serving size!

 :-\


« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 09:39:16 PM by Luis R. Ramos » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 09:30:46 PM »

Even camping, in general, isn't a CAP "thing", per se.  It's really not a mission and that's why there's no specific training for it.

GTM has evolved into the "campers" because a lot of small aircraft tend to launch and crash in rural areas (and the in urban ones
the people whose house the airplane is on generally call and tell someone).

Even most missing person is in less rural areas simply for the fact that this is where people live.

The 72hour gear can now be a duffel bag that's left in the vehicle...

For many (most) it already is.

The problem with "community" gear is

"Who pays for it?"

"Who stores it?"

For food "Who buys it?" "Cooks it?"

CAP does not have logistics teams and forward preparation, something many of us have been whining about
for decades to no avail.  Having community gear, big stoves, etc., does no good when they are an hour in the
opposite direction of the mission "The guy with the key is in Hawaii."

Then there is mission duration - between taking FAR FAR FAR FAR too long to authorize and spin up, and
then the nature of who responds, GT missions can be 1-hour to 1-week.  Who's going to Costco and
with what money? And what do you do with all that food when you're RTB'ed enroute?

A very good analogy to your point would be CAP radios, which tend to be "never near the actual mission".

One of the problems in this cases is that while CAP portends to be a ready asset, it doesn't train that way,
and members are required to equip themselves.
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 09:33:53 PM »

MRE=one-serving; Mountain House=three-servings or more.

That, my friend, is funny.

Another advantage with the MRE is you can eat them w/o heating them, or heat them on your engine block,
in your shirt, etc.

You'd never find me w/o a Jetboil for coffee, so hot water is never an issue, but that's me.

The other thing with MREs, even though they are expensive, they are robust, and a cadet with an MRE
isn't going to go hungry that day.  Otherwise they roll up with a handful or gravel trailmix and 8 Mountain Spews.
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micapguy
Recruit

Posts: 7
Unit: MIWG

« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 09:39:12 PM »

I am nearly completely against any commercial dehydrated food. It has the same issue as MREs.

BUT, it's us very inexpensive to buy pasta, oatmeal, dehydrated chili, etc and preportion one's one servings into very hefty zip lock bags. Usually, warm to hot water is good enough. You don't need boiling water that would melt through a bag to rehydrate most foods. And if you do have time, sit down and prepare it in small mess kit. You can always use mre heater units with homemade mres.

MREs are not so field expedient. They still take at least five minutes to heat up, and you have to position the heater unit so that scalding water doesn't spill out. If you don't have ten minutes to stop and eat, you just don't have time to eat a meal. A granola bar is the proper hold-me-over in that case.

MREs are car camping food at best, and at that, much healthier and quality food can be carried in a vehicle. Military surplus is often not the best choice these days for what we do. If it's free, that's one thing. But I see too many newbies run off to surplus stores for Alice packs when are far, far more comfortable and utilitarian packs can be had for the same price elsewhere. If we want to be looked upon as a competent SAR resource, to an extent, we need to look and train like the professionals do. A 10 person Coleman tent might be what a newbie already has sitting in his garage, but it's a poor choice for SAR. A tactikool vest with trauma plate may look the part, but it's extra weight that tires a person out.[

Let's not make SAR cost prohibitive, but certain jobs just require certain gear and certain people. Not everyone should participate in SAR. There is already a small cost and train expectation of every CAP member anyways, so a small investment in time, training, and gear is neither morally wrong or unreasonable.


Also, mREs are bulky and generate a lot of trash. That space can be better used for SAR gear in a pack.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 09:46:58 PM by micapguy » Logged
Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 09:43:56 PM »

Quote

The problem with "community" gear is

"Who pays for it?"

"Who stores it?"

For food "Who buys it?" "Cooks it?"


Left out "who cleans it? Who repairs it?"

 ???


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micapguy
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 09:49:14 PM »

Who is responsible for the custodianship of an airplane? Who is the custodian of  wing van, or radios, or issues laptops? Not a new concept here. You want to be part of your squadron's Ground Team? Welcome aboard. Now you have some additional responsibilities.

Of course the model can't be exclusively community gear only, but many, many units already have donated equipment, or a corporate van, etc.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 09:50:01 PM »

Buying chili, pasta, etc. and packing them into zip-lock bags takes me time I could be doing other things. Plus these bags are not as long-lasting as MREs.

And having to pack a mess kit, no matter how small, is as bulky as packing MREs, if not more. And when / how do I clean it? Am I going to carry soap dish in my 24-hour pack? Or in my 72-hour pack? So I have to put a dirty mess kit in my 24-hour pack if my dish soap is in my 72-hour pack...

 :o


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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 09:52:39 PM »

My experience is that custody of airplanes and vans resides in the Group. So new responsibilities for the Group Transportation Officer? (S)he has to clean mess kits, and so on?

 ???


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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 09:57:08 PM »

BUT, it's us very inexpensive to buy pasta, oatmeal, dehydrated chili, etc and preportion one's one servings into very hefty zip lock bags. Usually, warm to hot water is good enough. You don't need boiling water that would melt through a bag to rehydrate most foods. And if you do have time, sit down and prepare it in small mess kit. You can always use mre heater units with homemade mres.

When, exactly do you prepare this food?  Those might seem viable when you're planning a weekend trip, that's not how CAP works.

People have their gear stuffed in their trunk for months at a time - another reason MREs are usually used - they have a shelf life of 1-10 years (usually
about 3-4 in reality, 10 years re freezing).


MREs are car camping food at best, and at that, much healthier and quality food can be carried in a vehicle. Military surplus is often not the best choice these days for what we do. If it's free, that's one thing. But I see too many newbies run off to surplus stores for Alice packs when are far, far more comfortable and utilitarian packs can be had for the same price elsewhere. If we want to be looked upon as a competent SAR resource, to an extent, we need to look and train like the professionals do. A 10 person Coleman tent might be what a newbie already has sitting in his garage, but it's a poor choice for SAR. A tactikool vest with trauma plate may look the part, but it's extra weight that tires a person out.

We tell people, mostly cadets to leave the plate carriers and battle rattle t home, but many won't listen, or are re-purposing airsoft or whatever gear.

"Professionals" are usually getting someone else to buy, and thus standardize their gear, probably practice weekly.

Let's not make SAR cost prohibitive,
CAP isn't - a school backpack and peanut butter sandwich suffice, but some people won't listen, and unless CAP issues the gear, or
mandates standardization, neither of which is likely to happen.

Also, mREs are bulky and generate a lot of trash.

Yes, and frankly not a real issue since it's not like CAP is deploying hundreds of people on a daily basis into the woods.
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micapguy
Recruit

Posts: 7
Unit: MIWG

« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 09:58:43 PM »

Buying chili, pasta, etc. and packing them into zip-lock bags takes me time I could be doing other things. Plus these bags are not as long-lasting as MREs.

And having to pack a mess kit, no matter how small, is as bulky as packing MREs, if not more. And when / how do I clean it? Am I going to carry soap dish in my 24-hour pack? Or in my 72-hour pack? So I have to put a dirty mess kit in my 24-hour pack if my dish soap is in my 72-hour pack...

 :o

So the food is always fresher than MREs. Big deal. All of the other issues you just listed have been solved by the backpacking community years ago. Cleaning a mess kit in the woods is neither a new concept, a legitimately time consuming activity, or even difficult. A mess kit can be a small metal cup and a plastic spoon. Not complicated.

Part of legitimate military training is teaching our war fighters to think for themselves. Sometimes they carry their own modified gear into the field. We are not war fighters, but the concept of making your own gear ----- especially as it relates to the week- long and intellectually challenging activity of pouring a cup of pasta into a zip lock bag --- is not unheard of or unreasonable.

Are we catering ES to idiots in order to be all inclusive, or does our reputation of self reliance and competence result from a more selective process in which we have standards and expectations. If ground team Sally is scared to camp out in the woods or can't carry a 12 pound backpack, she belongs at mission base, not in a Ground Team.

Also, in my wing, vans and planes are very adequately under the custodianship of individuals in squadron's. The system works just fine. The squadron transportation officer spends a bit of his time making sure the van gets fixed and has maintenance, etc. He does a great job. That's the expectation of the job. Our wing has vans, not Ford fiestas. There is plenty of room for a permanent tent or two and some cooking equipment, and still room left over for the cadets honor guard stuff. Equipment can be stored in a central location too, not just in a corporate van. Ground teams always have GTLs. Part of hid responsibility could be group equipment. It doesn't have to be all stored at his place, but since their is no ground team unless he shows up....there is multiple ways to skin a cat here is my point.

Quote
People have their gear stuffed in their trunk for months at a time - another reason MREs are usually used - they have a shelf life of 1-10 years (usually
about 3-4 in reality, 10 years re freezing).

Being on a Ground Team comes with a little bit of responsibility. Like refreshing your gear periodically.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 10:11:51 PM by micapguy » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 10:03:12 PM »

Who is responsible for the custodianship of an airplane? Who is the custodian of  wing van, or radios, or issues laptops? Not a new concept here. You want to be part of your squadron's Ground Team? Welcome aboard. Now you have some additional responsibilities.

None of the above assets are used exclusively for SAR.  You can't leave them packed full of SAR gear and food because the first time they
are used for o-rides or rocket days, your stuff will be on the curb.  They have POCs, but are all shared assets for any qualified member to use.

And there is no way to space this gear in a way that prepares them for missions, because in most states the missions don't happen where
people live, so your garage full of tents and gear are 3 hours away from your 2-hour duration mission.

BTDT My group has a very nice ICP trailer.  It has camping gear, heat, autonomous power, radios, a good sized work space, etc.
In urban areas you can't park these in driveways.  for 10 years it was behind the gates at a military base, now it's kept at an airport in the
Northern part of the state. 

You need a specific van to tow it, and turn-around would be 3-4 hours to actually use it.
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 10:06:58 PM »

Part of legitimate military training is teaching our war fighters to think for themselves. Sometimes they carry their own modified gear into the field. We are not war fighters, but the concept of making your own gear ----- especially as it relates to the wee- long and intellectually challenging activity of pouring a cup of pasta into a zip lock bag --- is not unheard of or unreasonable.

No one said it was - make your own gear.

But don't expect most members who are active in SAR 2-3 times a year to be making pasta every night hoping "tomorrow is the day".

The reason members have what they have is because it's quick and easy.

You keep talking about "backpackers", and maybe don't understand that this isn't what CAP is out there doing.

In the VAST majority of missions, the members are walking 40 feet from the van with a vest, l-per and compass, eating at
McD's and never touching most of their gear, which is really only there for the most grave of emergencies.
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2017, 10:10:14 PM »

Something yo may not have taken notice of - members aren't even expected anymore to start
a fire in the field, that was removed from the tasking - extinguish one, yes.  Start one?  No.

The curriculum doesn't expect, and frankly most IC's and GBDs would panic at the idea, of GTMs having
to camp out or be autonomous during an actual mission.

The stuff is there mostly for peace of mind  that if a member (especially a cadet) gets separated from the
team and lost themselves, they could semi-not-die for 24 hours while everyone else runs in a circle with
their hair on fire hoping mom doesn't find out Johnny wandered off.

CAP is not about deploying march-in autonomous 3-day SAR teams in wilderness or austere conditions.
It walks on paths, follows roads, and gently moves corn stalks in hopes of finding someone who needs help.

I've been involved in two major operations during legit regional or national disasters - full on wrath of Diety events,
and both times, while I took comfort in the gear I had with me.  A radio, and a pen, and a bottle of water were all I actually needed to
prosecute the mission.

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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2017, 10:15:07 PM »

I do not have time to get food items when going to a mission. I do not have space in my 24-hour pack to carry "a metal cup" when I need the space that takes for my medication, or my GPS, or a map case...

 8)


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micapguy
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« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2017, 10:18:45 PM »

Quote
But don't expect most members who are active in SAR 2-3 times a year to be making pasta every night hoping "tomorrow is the day".

Dry pasta in a zip lock will last six months. In a humid car trunk. It's a good cadet ES activity even. Because it's easy.

Quote
In the VAST majority of missions, the members are walking 40 feet from the van with a vest, l-per and compass, eating at
McD's and never touching most of their gear, which is really only there for the most grave of emergencies.

Then the required gear list should reflect this, meaning duffel bags with a spare uniform and some change for McDonald's. You aren't going to spend 72 hours in a cap van, or sleep in it for three nights then. Gear should reflect this. Having a requirement of six meals does not imply McDonald's to me. It's still a good idea, but it should no longer be a requirement then. Just my Humble opinion. Grave emergencies require adequate gear. Half arsing one's gear is not a good way to approach that. If you have gear, you should be required at some point to demonstrate that it serves you adequately and you know how to use it. my wing runs a SAR academy, and I've heard of cadets being chastised for bringing along extra or better gear outside of the official required list. It doesn't work like that in the real world or on real missions, so why are they being trained like that? God, I hope a local surplus store is open, because now I won't be able to refresh my gear with an mre I just ate.

And I appreciate that we are not paid professionals with provided professional equipment, but we can only get so far away from that until we reach a point at which we are simply not in a good place to be conducting ground search based SAR. We have to be professional even if we aren't paid as such. Anything less may actually be nothing more than camouflage dressed people patting themselves on the back for being part of a job they are actually not capable of doing very well.

A good example is when CAP radio people get bent out of shape over not saying "over and out" all the time when using radios. That is the most common indicator they have never used a radio in a real intense SAR situation. Professionals drop that because it gets in the way of passing important traffic. I would know. I've been directly saving lives over a radio for years now. In many ways, the way I see CAP train for SAR tells me that many of the trainer's have not actually done SAR before, or at least front line SAR before. I feel CAP shines more at a mission base level, and is less adept at the tactical level. Of course, your mileage will vary on this.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 10:41:09 PM by micapguy » Logged
Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2017, 10:36:28 PM »

Quote

Dry pasta in a zip lock will last six months. In a humid car trunk.


The Zip-Lock bag will tear up before the 6 months are over. It has happened to me. Several times.

Quote

Then the required gear list should reflect this, meaning duffel [FTFY] duffle bags with a spare uniform and some change for McDonald's. You aren't going to spend 72 hours in a cap van, or sleep in it for three nights then. Gear should reflect this.


Gear list already takes this into account, it specifically states the 72-hour is for a mission not a sortie. Six meals in a bag again required not for a sortie but for the total mission. Implying there is the possibility of several sorties.

 8)


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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2017, 10:37:20 PM »

A good example is when CAP radio people get bent out of shape over not saying "over and out" all the time when using radios. That is the most common indicator they have never used a radio in a real intense SAR situation. Professionals drop that because it gets in the way of passing important traffic. I would know. I've been directly saving lives over a radio for years now. In many ways, the way I see CAP train for SAR tells me that many of the trainer's have not actually done SAR before, or at least front line SAR before. I feel CAP shines more at a mission base level, and is less adept at the tactical level. Of course, your mileage will vary on this.

No argument there, pretty much for everyone involved, even the most experienced.

The UDF equipment list is really all most members need for CAP missions.

As to the radios, I agree Comm guys can get a little wrapped around the axle about things, but with that said,
most CAP people never use a radio for anything other then CAP, so they might as well be taught proper procedure and technique,
again, especially cadets.  If they go on to military or civilian jobs that require they use radios, they will learn all manner
of local customs and procedures which will not work in the "next" job, that's just the nature of it.
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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2017, 10:45:47 PM »

THis from the most current version of the GTL / GTM refence guide:
http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52f294c6e4b0bede38b4d35c/t/5328c05be4b091b8426afc2b/1395179611175/GTRT.pdf

"Y2K: Many older computer systems or certain software packages used on them will not work after
the year when we move into the next millenium (sic). If it is critical to your operations, choose software
packages that will work. Most packages designed from 1997 on have been year 2000 compliant, or
have fixes in development, so there isn't much to worry about if you buy something now. But it is
better to check than to be caught later, unable to meet your operational commitments."


Bearing in mind Google Maps wasn't a "thing" until 2005...

As I said earlier, no one can argue the text isn't outdated, based on the rest of the world, however despite the
rhetoric, and a couple non-scalable exceptions, the mission literally hasn't changed, either, which is a big part of
the problem with doing any updates to the curriculum or expectations.

CAP has to create it's doctrine and decide what it's missions are now before it can change the training or
update equipment lists, etc.
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micapguy
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2017, 10:49:33 PM »

Quote
The Zip-Lock bag will tear up before the 6 months are over. It has happened to me. Several times.

Are you carrying the Ziploc bag attached to your pistol belt, exposed to brush and foliage, as you run through a briar? My Ziploc bags is are sufficiently stowed inside my pack and have miraculously stayed intact for months. Or perhaps you store them in a pouch that is full of open knife blades. In any case, this sounds more akin to a gear organization issue than an inadequacy on the part of ziplock's product. Don't get mad. Get Glad. Glad resealable bags that is. And then get a better pouch for that pistol belt to store them in. Like a pouch that doesn't also have exposed edges of an orienteering compass that have been filed into razors...

Quote
Gear list already takes this into account, it specifically states the 72-hour is for a mission not a sortie. Six meals in a bag again required not for a sortie but for the total mission. Implying there is the possibility of several sorties

Now this makes sense


Quote
CAP has to create it's doctrine and decide what it's missions are now before it can change the training or
update equipment lists, etc.

You are 100% correct. But the 21st century of SAR has arrived awhile ago. Now is the time of CAPs national ES people to start doing that. What are we stilling waiting for? Soon drones will rule the sky and there will be no downed pilots to search for.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 10:54:24 PM by micapguy » Logged
Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2017, 11:03:28 PM »

My Zip-Lock bags have always been stored inside my mission bags.

And they always break.

Within 6 months!

 ;)
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2017, 11:18:05 PM »

Everyone talking about MREs like they are food. When forced to eat only those for weeks, months, at a time I am convinced they are not. Personally I'll find a different option. Of course things are a little different now I. I hear they taste better. I do miss the 4 fingers of death.

(having said that living in Bama I do have a couple cases for natural disasters, but I also have other food options that will be used prior
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2017, 11:24:05 PM »

if someone is doing a commissary run and I can get them cheap enough, I like to have a case around -
I'll keep one or two in the bike with the jet boil for a range day when I was teaching or jst for a long ride.

They are handy and stable.

As said above, it's a novelty for CAP members, something else all together when they are your only food source.

They aren't required, or even encouraged, just one option that many members use because of their proximity to them
and the USAF.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2017, 11:24:59 PM »

By your own admission, you are biased against them.

"When forced to eat only those..."

If I had been forced to eat anything for weeks and months, I would also say anything against them.

When I was a teen growing up, my family used to eat lots and lots of meat loaf. Seldom steaks. When I became an adult, I used to eat a lot of steak. I cannot eat steak much nowadays because my dental health is not that good. But I hate meat loaf and seldom eat it!

So to me, MREs are still food! Some, at least...

 :)


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sarmed1
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« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2017, 09:21:52 PM »

The gear list is a minimum of recommended items based on lowest common denominator.  If your area of operations has more stringent needs then adapt you gear to fit that.  For exapmple.  The state that I grew up in had a large mission role in missing person search.  The 911 mission concept was regularly employed in that some squadrons/groups were listed as the primary SAR resource after the local fire dept or police dept was called (pre NOC speedy approval days) To this day even though that mission has decreased many teams still choose gear much more adaptable to extended wilderness and weather-tastic operations.  Another state that I lived in had very little SAR mission but had some a very robust DR mission, some of their specialty teams were required to and actual utilized in the 72+hours of self sufficient for food, water and shelter.

The point being the gear list is designed to meet the most common needs across the national spectrum of potential operations.  Sure not everyone is going to need everything on there, and in some cases you will need more than whats on there, and you may have a need for things that arent even on there.

MK
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Mark Kleibscheidel
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« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2017, 12:35:15 PM »

Yep.
Agree...

No argument there, pretty much for everyone involved, even the most experienced.
The UDF equipment list is really all most members need for CAP missions.
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umpirecali
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« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2017, 11:20:35 AM »

When I teach new ground team members, I teach them the list is a guide and was created to be universal.  I mention this list must work from Alaska to Arizona, Iowa, Florida, and Vermont.  All have different climates, typical missions, protocols, and considerations.  As for MREs or other prepared foods, I do not encourage any of them.  I encourage quick easy foods, jerky, GORP, other dehydrated foods like pineapples and bananas, small snacks that don't melt (ie nothing with chocolate in the summer), and cliff bars and the like.  Around here, around here most sorties are 2-4 hours and 6 on the outside time.  So, most items in the pack list are for the extreme emergency (ie, someone slips off the trail and gets a mechanical injury and the team must shelter in place.  In the mountains of Virginia, there is some treacherous terrain just off the trail.  We had an F-15 crash a few years ago and it took some teams 3 hours just to hike from the ICP to the search area.  Also once a find is made, it can sometimes be hours before you are relieved. 

I speak from a fair amount of experience as I responded to 11 missing person searches in 2016 alone.  The OP mentioned trash bags.  Trash bags are a great multi-use item.  They can be used as an emergency poncho, water collection, a quick shelter, clue collection (sometimes base will instruct us to bag the clue and return to base), and to protect a clue (such as a set of footprints until a tracking team can arrive).  I personally have never used a trash bag in a real-world scenario, but I keep three in my pack, they weigh nothing and roll up to nothing, so in the bottom of my pack they stay.  I have also never used my webbing, ropes, and carabiners either (required by VDEM), but in the bottom of my pack they stay.

Someone mentioned matches. I teach a cheap lighter, a ferro rod as a backup and some quick fire starting material like fatwood, trioxane, combustible material covered in wax, etc.   This is important for two reasons, personal warmth and warming a patient.  If I encounter a hypothermic patient, and it will take an evac team 2 hours to get there I am going to make a warming fire.  Same goes for personal warmth.  I know of three finds within the last three months, where the team who made the finds had to wait hours until relief arrived.  The most recent was a plane crash in the mountains.  The team made the find around 5pm, they took their notes, secure the scene and waited to be relieved.  The sun set and the temperature dropped, the waited well outside the crash area and made a fire while they waited.  These are things we are trained and empowered to do in VA.  Now if you are in the Kansas or Florida wing, where things are flat and you are almost always near a road, that might not be needed.   Semper Gumby.
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« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2017, 10:06:58 AM »

You can build a very good 24hr pack off of Wish.com for about $35-40.   I suggested the squadron just buy 6 matching 24hr packs and keep them in the van/trailer for use.   That way, you know they are always built and always ready.


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Dragoon
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« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2017, 10:43:42 AM »

As the guy who came up with original gear list, more than 20 years ago, just thought I'd weigh in.

1.  Yup, it's definitely overdue for a relook.

2.  I personally never liked the terms "24 hour gear" and "72 hour gear."  I don't want to spend 24 hours without my sleeping stuff (yeah, I'm a wuss).  The terms we suggested were "field gear" and "base gear."   They got voted down by others on the ES committee.

3. The discussion on this thread reflects a lot of the original thoughts that went in to the list.

            The gear list was supposed to be the lowest common denominator - Wings could always add requirements. 
            The focus was on car-camping, not backpacking. 
            Cost was always big concern, especially since most GT folks are cadets. 
            The "survival" gear aspect was always limited to keeping you uncomfortable but alive for about a day - we should be able to find you by then. 
            Uniform appearance, within reason, was a good thing.
            Communal gear is bad, as you might mix and match personnel to form teams, and it's hard to split up a single 6 man tent between two teams.  Each person had to have all the stuff they needed.

  If you didn't start from these premises, you'd have a very different gear list.


Overall, I'm happy that the curriculum has lasted as long as it has - but I'm not sure if that's because it was well written, or just that CAP just hasn't gotten around to rewriting it   :)

           

« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 09:39:43 PM by Dragoon » Logged
Jaison009
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« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2017, 10:06:00 PM »

Heater meals (https://heatermeals.com) might be another option for those interested in alternatives. We use them in DR settings when kitchens cannot be set up in an expedient manner
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2017, 11:44:59 PM »

Why do ground team members keep talking about "heater meals?"

Heater meals are not the best choice either.

If you read from the containers: "portions: 3 portions." or similar. "Portions inside: 3" are the smallest I have seen. Do you carry a refrigerator with you to save any uneaten portion? No. Then you have to throw away any uneaten portions or overeat.

You are also not carrying "complete meals" as required by regulations.

The only way this would work is if you have a pretty stable ground team composed of the same people sortie after sortie, mission after mission, where you agree to share meals. You would carry the main entree, another the vegies, another fruits.
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« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2017, 11:56:26 PM »

If you read from the containers: "portions: 3 portions." or similar. "Portions inside: 3" are the smallest I have seen. Do you carry a refrigerator with you to save any uneaten portion? No. Then you have to throw away any uneaten portions or overeat.

Anyone who thinks a heater meal or an MRE is more then one "portion", hasn't fed an adolescent lately, not to mention one
doing physical activity in the field.

A teenage cadet can inhale an entire large pizza and ask what's next.

And MRE's are only about 1250 calories - not the 5000+ you hear about in wives tales.  3 a day for the average adult, just
like any other food, especially with physical activity.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2017, 12:14:24 AM »

I was looking at them as alternatives.

Then I read the nutrition label. Your answer just tells me you have not.

I had five or six Mountain House. All said "servings per package" but again, they were not complete meals since they would have only one choice. They would be beef without veggies. Or chicken without desert. and so on.

MREs are more complete meals. If you want a cadet to eat three MREs in one sitting, that is fine but as GTL I would not train any cadet to take heater meals that are not complete nutrition.
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Jaison009
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« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2017, 12:28:28 AM »

Heater Meal entrees and Heater Meal Plus are a one serving meal with a 12 oz entree instead of the standard 8.  Are they the best choice? No. Can they meet the requirement and still provide what is needed for the short time a team will operate? Yes, they can. The plus even come with beverage, water pouch, and snacks.

Why do ground team members keep talking about "heater meals?"

Heater meals are not the best choice either.

If you read from the containers: "portions: 3 portions." or similar. "Portions inside: 3" are the smallest I have seen. Do you carry a refrigerator with you to save any uneaten portion? No. Then you have to throw away any uneaten portions or overeat.

You are also not carrying "complete meals" as required by regulations.

The only way this would work is if you have a pretty stable ground team composed of the same people sortie after sortie, mission after mission, where you agree to share meals. You would carry the main entree, another the vegies, another fruits.
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docrameous
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« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2017, 06:24:48 PM »

2.  I personally never liked the terms "24 hour gear" and "72 hour gear."  I don't want to spend 24 hours without my sleeping stuff (yeah, I'm a wuss).  The terms we suggested were "field gear" and "base gear."   They got voted down by others on the ES committee.

NASAR's 2014 24 hour pack list sort of heads in this direction, and I prefer CAP's 24/72 field/base gear arrangement. NASAR's 24 hour list has a 2400 cubic inch pack, foam pad, an extra set of clothes and optionally includes a steno stove, sewing kit and folding saw which is starting to sound like you are setting up for a camp site.

To me, a 24 hour bag should be something light which you can run with all day and have the means to spend an extra long operational period, including a night out.  So the king of the day is light, light, light and I suspect the first night I won't get much sleep anyhow.  So I carry a net hammock and I got my fly/tarp that I can string up to catch a bit of sleep.  If I am going to be out longer, I will want to reconnect up with my main pack for toiletries, tent, sleeping bag, etc. etc.

However... this may be conditioned by the searches in our area.  Others may feel the risk of needing to set up a more substantial camping arrangement out of a 24 hour pack is of greater value and possibility.  Not here and so I'd rather not carry the weight.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 07:03:39 PM by docrameous » Logged
sardak
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« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2017, 09:31:02 PM »

In 2016 NASAR dropped the specific requirements for a SAR pack including size and equipment carried, and the pack check is no longer a requirement to pass SAR Tech II. The intro to the NASAR Consolidated Pack Guide states:
NASAR recognizes that SAR responders operate in extremely varied environments. In consideration of local environments, legislation, circumstances, or team standards, NASAR has compiled this Consolidated Pack Guide. Using the ASTM F2209 standard as its foundation, this guide is the single publication that documents all NASAR program pack recommendations. This guide supersedes all previous pack standards and guidance.

The SAR Tech II test states Station #3: 24-hour Pack: This used to be a required station - it isn't any longer.  Candidates should carry the basic survival and safety supplies for their environment and the items to complete the stations.

Unfortunately NASAR still uses the term 24 hour pack in the new guidance  The SAR 24-hour pack is designed to prepare a sole searcher on a field assignment for up to 24 hours with no outside logistical or re-supply assistance. The searcher is expected to wear or carry (layers) clothes/uniform appropriate for the response environment, circumstances, duration and task. It is also expected that the searcher will have the supplies necessary to assist and support an injured victim (or injured searcher) for a portion of the 24-hour assignment.

ASTM Standard F2209 has been around since before CAP revamped the ES program, and was recommended to them when the curriculum and regs were revised. F2209 doesn't use the term 24 hour pack, nor does it specify particular equipment. It instead includes a list of items compiled from a sampling of equipment lists from SAR organizations that were identified as "minimum, basic, 24 hour, hasty, or similar terms." The standard states that the agency or organization will determine its required equipment.

One of the notes to the F2209 list reads "[Items which] Appeared on more extended mission or base kit lists than basic or 24 hour lists." Among these items are foam pads, tents, cook kits, utensils and sewing kits.

Mike
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 09:35:12 PM by sardak » Logged
docrameous
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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2017, 03:41:18 PM »

This was excellent to know... I had missed this update. 
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oweng_01
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« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2017, 07:20:44 PM »

[darn] Cadet you must suck if you cant start a fire with 12 matches ;D ;D. Learn to use flint and steel then come talk matches are a breeze to use. I will agree that the pay phone part is outdated but the MRE's are good for inexperienced cadets. It states you just need two meals not two MRE's. If you know what you need for your two meals based on your self don't worry about the MRE's.


                                                                                    --Local SAR Guy
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« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2017, 08:39:28 PM »

Is someone, somewhere, within CAP currently re-looking this?
Who "owns" the doctrine right now?
Why is so much so static?
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« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2017, 03:26:14 PM »

To the MRE portion of this discussion, I stocked up last night unexpectedly.

I was at American Science and Surplus w/ #2 son and they had Sopako MRE's, w/ heaters for $6 - that's a great price when
you don't have to pay shipping.  https://www.sciplus.com/  Vintage Nov 2016.

I'm also seeing them on Amazon in the under $7 range w/ Prime by the case of 12, so certainly not a major deal these days to get them.
A unit ramping up some GTs could order a single case and fill 6 each with no issues.


I grabbed a few each of Chili Mac (The king of MREs), Tortellini, & Beef Ravioli - I can swap out the aging Mountain house
stuff in my gear and bike, and not think about this again for a couple of years. I haven't bothered with meals in the 72 hour
gear anymore.  It doesn't get used enough, and CAP doesn't go anywhere for more then a day, with less then a few days notice.
I could Prime them if needed.

I still have this ziplock bag full of heaters that are about 10 years old I don't know what to do with.  BITD, a lot of commercial
MREs shipped without them and I bought them for that reason, then never used them.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 03:32:41 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2017, 03:28:34 PM »

Is someone, somewhere, within CAP currently re-looking this?
Who "owns" the doctrine right now?
Why is so much so static?

The Operations Directorate owns the curriculum and various members have indicated it has been in the re-work queue for years.

It's just one more thing on the list.
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Spam
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« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2017, 07:11:00 PM »

I still have this ziplock bag full of heaters that are about 10 years old I don't know what to do with.  BITD, a lot of commercial
MREs shipped without them and I bought them for that reason, then never used them.

Eclipse, that sounds like you need only a couple of six packs and a kiddie wading pool and you've got a redneck hot tub, sir.

 ;D

Cheers
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Eclipse
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« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2017, 07:29:38 PM »

Eclipse, that sounds like you need only a couple of six packs and a kiddie wading pool and you've got a redneck hot tub, sir.

Hey!  That sounds like a grea...RUN!!!!


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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: Time to Update Ground Team Gear
 


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