Originally Posted By spartacus2002:
After-Action Review of today's hike:
We had 12 members show up today, plus 3 supportive wives/girlfriends. Most members were local, but we also had Arfcommers from as far away as Tallahassee, Miami, and Jacksonville.
LAWBunny as Assembly Area cheerleader
As people arrived, they received a large sticker for their screenname, first name, and preferred pronouns
. We weighed rucks using MoarCoffee's handheld electronic luggage scale. We had a great location at a park with latrines, water point, plenty of parking, and shade, right next to the Pinellas Trail. Weather was excellent, sunny and 69oF with light breeze. Future hikes will start early to avoid the heat of the day, but we started at 1300 due to good daytime weather in February here and to facilitate travel for attendees from out of the area.
Attendees were kind enough to bring Walther, aka Fo Dog Jr., and imitation crab meat!
After ruck weigh-ins and safety brief, we stepped off at 1320, going 1.5 miles north (tracked via smartphone GPS app) and back on the Pinellas Trail, and finished in 59 minutes.
We also found the new Arfcom-approved CQB shoot-house.
Upon return, we had a 10-minute period to adjust weight, hit the latrine, and get more water. Then we completed the second 3 miles by going for two loops around the park's lake, finishing in 58 minutes.
Several members marched with little/no weight due to recovering from illness/injury, several achieved Provisional rating on one of the 3-mile legs, and several achieved Provisional rating then knocked out an additional 3 miles with 45lbs. towards their 3rd Class rating. No casualties, although several of us had sore feet by the end.
Upon completion approx 1530, we gathered comments and had a discussion about how to keep this program going.Attendees' AAR Comments:
-Great to meet other Arfcommers.
-See this as the beginning of something bigger; need to keep this going; don't let it die!
-Should have this as a standing monthly event.
-Rotate it between Pinellas County (St Pete/Clearwater) and Hillsborough County (Tampa), choosing new park or other appropriate location.
-Consider attending Appleseed event to train up for the NRA/CMP qualification.
-Develop further into other events, such as doing additional rating qualifications together, attending Appleseed together, contact ranges for group events for us, etc.My AAR comments as organizer:
-Get a handheld luggage scale. It's far easier than my original plan of "have Arfcommer stand on scale with rucksack, then stand on scale without rucksack, then do math."
-Remind people about hydration with the adage "if you don't have to urinate, you arent' drinking enough water." I saw nearly everyone hit the latrine halfway thru, which was an indicator hydration was good. You can fit two normal water bottles into each cargo pocket on cargo shorts.
-Break in your footgear! I had broken-in boots but new Dr. Scholl inserts. My heels were VERY painful during miles 5 and 6, I was sure I had the mother of all blisters. Turns out it was the ramped edge of the inserts, which weren't broken in and my feet weren't used to them. No blisters, but lots of pain. Break in your footgear, inserts too!
-Walk with your rucksack and weight several times a week for a mile or two. It will help you break in your feet, your footgear, and your shoulders (carrying a heavy rucksack strains your shoulder, lower neck, and upper back muscles). Plus it will help you sort out your gear; you want it to fit well and not bounce or rattle.
-Do a headcount before you step off, and designate someone as official Last Person In The Group to sweep up stragglers
-We received some very strange looks from some people, and some asked politely who we were. We smiled and greeted everyone we passed, and if asked we said "we're a hiking club." When I wondered why people looked at us funny, a member pointed out "we're a bunch of middle-aged white guys marching together in military gear, of course we scare people!"
Overall, a success, and I look forward to planning the next event.