Friday, May 18, 2007

Back from Field School

Well, that was one of the toughest things I've ever done in my life. Highlights include:

- Day 2 was a 16 km traverse through rough bush (no roads, trails, etc. barring one short logging road), and at least 6 bogs/marshes, one of which was thigh high.

- Day 7 was 12C, it poured most of the day, and it was very windy. By 10:30 AM my clothes on my bottom half, including boots and socks, were soaked through. We didn't have anwhere to get out of the elements until 4:30 PM

- My old hiking boots no longer fit and I had 7 blisters on one foot alone.

- I didn't take the 3rd year Metamorphic Petrology course, and therefore had a very hard time understanding our area. Thankfully my partners were helpful in explaining it.

Lessons learned?

- Take a GPS, it makes mapping easier.
- Buy proper rain pants, hiking boots, and backpack.
- Ticks are less frightening after you've found over 50 of them on you in one day.
- Ticks can be more easily removed if you gently pull while turning clockwise - this is the opposite direction to the way their mandibles grow.
- Blackflies really love the colour blue.
- Khaki is not the best colour in a hat. It's hot and attracts blackflies.

To prepare for my season in Red Lake, I'm going to replace my rain pants and get new hiking boots. I'm also going to go get a new hat. I LOVE the one I have, barring the colour. It's an old Canadian Forces hat, with great little ear flaps that fold up into the cap when you don't need them. I want to get one in tan, but it seems they've stopped making this style, as far as I can tell. Nor would I have been able to get it in tan in the first place. Too bad, because the hat rocks my socks. I guess I'll be off to United Army Surplus!

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