Pathfinder Camping Checklist

As a pre-teen, I was a member of the Pathfinders, which is the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) version of co-ed Boy Scouts. (Interestingly enough, the Pathfinders pre-date the Boy Scouts by three years). One of the fun things I would do as a Pathfinder was camping.

I remember they gave us a checklist for our weekend camping trips, and I can’t find an equivalent one today. Mine was over 20 years ago, so us 7th graders were expected to have a pocket knife, hatchet or bow saw, and matches. I don’t see those on the modern lists.

Our list was more like:

Tarp (for under the tent)
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
First Aid Kit
Matches or Flint (Certain exercises required flint and no matches)
Pocket Knife
Change of Clothes x # of days
Toilet Paper
Mess Kit
Vegetarian Food (Many SDAs are vegetarian)
Folding Shovel
Winter Clothes/sunscreen and sunglasses (season dependent)
Personal supplies
Notepad and Pens/Pencils

Today, the lists focus mostly on what clothes to bring, and much of the camping gear is provided. I did see where they still encourage Pathfinders to bring pocket knives, though “military knives” were not allowed on at least one of the lists.

None of them mention fire starting equipment anymore. I can only assume it is provided at this point. Several of the honors (similar to merit badges in Boy Scouts), require you to make fires with techniques other than lighters. I think 6th grade, you had to start a fire with a single match. By 7th grade, it was a magnifying glass, and 8th grade, it was flint and steel. I’ve done all of the above.

We almost always brought our own tents and had to set them up. However, there were a few “primitive” camping trips, where we had to build a lean-to, including one in 32 F freezing rain. We also had to dig out the snow to set up a tent on multiple occasions.

Anyway, I liked the old list. As an adult, I also add a gun (typically, my .357 magnum revolver, but it varies), ammunition, my amateur radio handheld, and jerky to this list. I also replaced the canteen with a Camelback, as those had not been perfected in my pathfinder days.

What do you think of my list? Anything you would add or subtract?

Thank you for reading my post.

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Geocaching and Reloading

This week, I found two geocaches in Socorro County, NM.  I found the first one at the top of Sedillo Hill in a tree.

I had a few more minutes to kill between meetings, so I rode down the hill to Clarke Field, and found the other one.

I use an app that tells you when you are getting close to one.  It’s a far cry from the olden days of tracking via a latitude and longitude, but there is still some search involved.  The app has a nice tracking interface, too, so you can leave feedback on the geocache.

In addition to geocaching, I did some reloading this weekend as well.  Using the Lee Hand Primer, I primed 147 .38 Special brass.  I also set up my powder hopper to dump 8.4 gr of 2400 in the cases.  I will double-check this today, and perhaps load some ammunition this evening.

Thank you for reading my post.

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Reloading this Weekend

This weekend, I started cleaning up the reloading shed again.  I got a few things organized, including some of my brass that has been sitting in bags and boxes for ages.

My son and I also did some case prep work.  We sized, trimmed and deburred 148 .38 cases.  We did have a few issues:

  1. We broke two pins, and when I inspected the second broken pin, I could see that the decapping rod was bent, probably causing our decapping issue.  I will have to replace that soon.
  2. My .38s are of different case lengths, and so only a few of them even needed a trim.  Considering they will be fired from a short-barreled revolver, I am not too concerned that the cases are not very consistent.

Thank you for reading my post.

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Geocaching on the Road

I am still traveling across country, and am en route from Ohio to New Mexico.  With the below zero temperatures, I won’t do much geocaching over the next few days.  However, on the first leg of this trip, I did some geocaching through the south.  As it turns out, plenty of rest areas have geocaches available.

We hit one in Florida at a rest area.  This one made a crack about not spending the night alone, and we found it near a paper box filled with escort ads (very clever).

…and another in Georgia (though the photo for this one was blurry).  I have now located geocaches in Illinois, New Mexico, Kansas, Georgia and Florida (5 states).

I am looking forward to geocaching into the new year.

In fact, while I’m thinking of it, here are a few of my resolutions for this year:

  1.  Find at least 24 more geocaches, in at least four more states.
  2.  Shoot in 3 CMP Matches
  3.  Fix Scout Rifle
  4.  Install Trigger in Ruger 10-22
  5.  Reload 1000 rounds of ammunition
  6.  Shoot at Socorro Range 12x
  7.  Camp 4x
  8.  Sight in AR-15s
  9.  Sight in .270
  10.  Shoot in one match

Thank you for reading my post.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my faithful followers!

This Christmas has been great, and I got some neat loot.  My parents picked up a Primary Arms AR-15 2.5x CQB Scope, which looks really cool.  I want to set it up on one of my AR-15s, and the hardest thing is picking out which one.  I will probably go with the most compact.  I’ll let you know and give it a good range test when I get back to Socorro.

They also picked up some .223, some .22 and another .50 cal ammo can, which you can never have too many ammo cans.  Thank you!!!!

Looking forward into the next year, I need to spend more time shooting.  I did not shoot as much this past year, and it also marks the first year where I purchased no firearms since… I can’t even remember how long ago.

This year, I do vow to shoot more and reload more.  I have most of my ammunition organized at this point, so it’s time to get the presses running again.

Thank you for reading my post.

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Shooting Event

On Friday, nearly 20 students accompained me to the shooting range in Socorro.  They were of mixed experience levels, so I had a good time showing folks how to shoot.   We started off with five experienced shooters who brought their own guns, and then we divided up the rest of the students to teach safety and gun handling.  After everyone was comfortable handling the guns, we traded off so that everyone was given a chance to try everything they wanted to try.

I brought my M1 Garand, one of my AR-15s, a Marlin 60, a Thompson Center Contender rifle with a .22 barrel, a Ruger Mark III, my Colt Police Positive, a Mossberg 500, and a Russian .410.  The other folks brought similar things- plety of .22s and AR-15s in particular.

I did have two issues:  one with the M1 and one with the Police Positive.  The M1 has a tendency to not extract, leaving a case stuck in the chamber.   I spent Saturday evening tapping the bolt with a mallet and then disassebling and cleaning the gun.  The Police Positive cylinder was not locking, so I will have to look into that one as well.

Most importantly, everyone had a great time and everyone was safe.  Any round of ammunition shot by a new shooter is an investment towards the future of shooting sports.

Thank you for reading my post.


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American Rifleman: December, 2017

I just finished reading the December issue of American Rifleman and there were several articles I found interesting.

My favorite article was “Cold War Warriors:  The Men & Guns of Special Forces Berlin”, by James Stejskal.  This article discussed some of the Special Forces folks that were stationed in Cold War Germany.  While the article discussed the guns used by these folks, the neat part of the story was reading about the real-life intelligence missions.

As usual, I also appreciated “I Have This Old Gun…”, by Garry James, which features a US Model 1803 Rifle, and discusses the specifics of this particular gun.  This is certainly my favorite regular column in American Rifleman.

Thank you for reading my post.

Stejskal, James.  “Cold War Warriors: The Men & Guns of Special Forces Berlin.”  American Rifleman, Dec. 2017, pp. 54-59, 78-80.

James, Garry.  “I Have This Old Gun…”,  American Rifleman, Dec. 2017, pp. 88.

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