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Survival situation game: availability of .45 pistol is dangerous

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Creeping Incrementalism, Apr 24, 2007.

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  1. Creeping Incrementalism

    Creeping Incrementalism Member

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    Have any of you ever participated in one of those group dynamic "survival situation" games, where a group divides into small teams, everyone is given a paper listing available materials for a plane crash in the wilderness, and then decide together what the most important items are? Its a kind of team building exercise.

    Anyway, I participated in one of these the other day, supposedly created by a "Mark Wanvig", former U.S. Army survival instructor for the 101st Airborne. One of the items of this arctic plane crash situation was a loaded .45 pistol. Another item was a small axe, and other items included a 20'x20' piece of canvas, choclate bars, etc. What surprised me in the official listing of which items were the most important, under pistol, after listing a possible use as a signalling device, it said, "The pistol also has some serious disadvantages. Anger, frustration, impatience, irritability, and lapses of rationality may increase as the group awaits rescue. The availability of a lethal weapon is a danger to the group under these conditions." The description of the axe included no such warning.

    Has anyone else ever been forced to play one of these stupid survival games before? Having read the U.S. Army's survival field manual cover to cover (just as something to read on the commuter train), and gone over much of the U.S. Air Force's manual as well, I don't think any of them were written by a survival instructor. I found the idea of a pistol as being dangerous to a group in a survival situation particularly curious considering that this was supposedly written by a former soldier.

    Anyway, here's the game. While this is pulled from a web site catering to Girl Scouts, it's available on the web in other places, all with identical text. I wonder if Snopes or anyone else would be able to tell if this "Mark Wanvig" ever existed.

    http://www.scoutingweb.com/scoutingweb/SubPages/SurvivalGame.htm

     
  2. PaladinX13

    PaladinX13 Member

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    There's a NASA "stranded on the moon" variation as well. I wouldn't take either too seriously.
     
  3. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    I've played that game, or made others play it at least. :)

    I pulled that exact game off the web for a team building exercise for my employees a couple years ago. Several of us got a good laugh over their explanation of the uslessness of the .45. I'm a hunter and routinely hunt with a handgun. A couple of my employees were aware of this fact and got a good laugh when I had to read the part about it requiring an expert marksman to hunt with one. One said something to the effect of "If we all crash we're giving you the gun and letting you bring us all dinner".

    I've got no idea whether it was genuinely written by a former Army survival expert, but I'd not be surprised if it wasn't.
     
  4. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    People who've never been in a situation like that might go nuts after a few days away from text messaging. Short of food, you wake up sore. Gets worse as days go on. You get really irritable. So do the others.

    It's possible, with the right set of jerks, to have one jerk decide to shoot the other for not obeying his orders.
     
  5. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    I never do well at those games anyway. They all seem to recommend that you hole up and wait for rescue while I tend to be a bit more proactive.
     
  6. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Member

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    That's for me to know and not you!
    The way I see it, the guy or gal with the pistol also guards the food stores. Everyone else is a forager.
     
  7. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

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    most of this list is probably what got the donner party killed back in the day. They dont even mention EATING THE CRISCO for the calories, and just how do they expect you to liquify it enough for use in a lighter?

    And if i remember correctly, dont we teach everyone not to use a firearm as a hammer? And how are girlscouts going to pull bullets from a cartridge?
     
  8. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Member

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    We had to play this same game during a team building excercise at a shop I used to work at. Why the owner thought it was a good idea to include this training for mechanics still confounds and confuses me, but what a couple of us came up with made them never offer it to us again.

    basically we thought you could eat the crisco and the steel wool was about useless
    1. 100proof whiskey, you have just gone through hell and are going to be stuck in the woods for a couple days, this bottle will become your closest friend, afterall 1/2 way through the bottle and its cinco de mayo.
    2. 45 pistol, not only to protect your whiskey from those no good coworkers, but also with it you can keep everything else too, that oughta make life a little more comfortable, and if they don't like it they're dinner.
    3. AX, now by this point someone either tried to take your whiskey or just wont shut up, you need to cut wood to make a fire, maybe hide some evidence.
    4. lighter, you have a plane, you have an ax, and you can pop a hole in that gas tank to fill up that lighter, and promptly set that POS plane on fire, not only to warm yourself up, signal the search party, but also because it'll be fun.
    5. clothes, while you would quickly freeze with only 2 sets of clothing per person, you now have several sets of clothing and should be quite toasty.
    6. Map, now where was that little town again?
    7. compass, away we go
    8. Candy bars, you have a little bit of a hike ahead of you and are a little tired of eating those whining crybaby coworkers, some desert might be nice
    9. Tarp, roll that thing up and take it with you for shelter if you have to stop for the night, for the search party to see (the tarps not white is it?) if its 57 degrees below freezing during the day those little streams and ponds along the way are going to be frozen solid and walking across them is no big deal, but just incase a couple branches and you have a raft.
    10. Newspaper, almost home free, can see the town in the distance and already thinking of the book deal (nothing wrong with cashing in on tragedy) and just then you realize you just might have ate 1 too many candy bars and have to go, and BAD!!!, you pull out the paper, start flipping through while youre doing your buisness, and there on the front page is Rosie O'Donnel and a story on her latest insane babbling on The View, well youre about done and Im sure I don't have to tell you how that full page picture can make itself useful:evil:

    Just to be sure noone gets the wrong idea, I don't condone or advocate cannibalism, killing of whining crybaby coworkers, drinking in huge excess, and I certainly under no circumstance would advocate anyone using Rosie O'donnel's picture as toilet paper:rolleyes:
     
  9. Lucky

    Lucky Member

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    Damn, in juniour high we camped in the forest in January in -25 weather for outdoor class. (also shot guns:)!)
     
  10. Darkside852003

    Darkside852003 Member

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    That is the first group assignment at University of Phoenix Gen 300 class.
     
  11. Warren

    Warren Member

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    I'd make sure I had the pistol.
     
  12. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Member

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    steel wool is great for starting a fire if you know how ;)
     
  13. ConfuseUs

    ConfuseUs Member

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    A friend of mine had to take part in an exercise like this, except the plane crashed in a desert. Every useful item was discarded by the group over her objections and the group planned to abandon the crash site and walk out, also over her objections. Naturally at the end of the exercise the group was all dead. :)

    At any rate, I think that one use for the whiskey was overlooked: as improv lighter fluid. Edit: They did cover that, just not as explicitly.

    And basting yourself with Crisco to keep warm means you need something good for dealing with hungry bears and/or lecherous coworkers. :evil:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
  14. LaEscopeta

    LaEscopeta Member

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    I too agree most of these test are contrived bunk. The test makers try to come up with counterintuitive reasons for which items are the most important, I believe because they are trying to show they are smarted than you.

    But for this exact situation…
    …I agree a firearm for hunting/protection is not the first priority. In Northern Canada the 3 main things you would need protection from are bears, wolfs and criminal people. In mid Januarys the bears are hibernating, so they are not a threat. And If I’m remembering correctly Northern Canada wolves following Caribou herds in the winter; if there are no Caribou tracks near you, there are no wolves. Criminal people are a wild card; no ways of knowing if you would meet them before you meet good people, but I’m guessing the odds are with the good people.

    I agree with the explanation above that lack of warmth and water is going to kill you a lot sooner than lack of food. Most healthy people can walk a couple or three days without food, and can last a week or 3 if they keep still. And the food you will need first is calories, second vitamins, third protein. So even if you are out long enough to need food, meat is not you best choice.

    I disagree with the blanket statement of staying put and waiting for rescue. Lots of plane are off their filed flight plan when they crash, leading to searchers combing the wrong area. If the nearest town really is 20 miles away, and you know which direction, I don’t think it is impossible for a couple of messengers from the stranded party to get to the town in 3 days. Sending messengers will hedge your bets; if they reach the town before the search party finds the plane you get rescued faster. If the search party finds the plane first, they can follow the messengers, as well as alert the town to look for them. If the messengers don’t make it, well, you only lost 2 of the party. As stated above, lots of people go out camping in -25 degree F weather. (Although the -40 at night is tougher, it is pretty simple it the pine forests of northern Canada to make a night time snow shelter, either by digging in a drift or piling snow around and on the low branches of a pine tree.)
     
  15. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    In those conditions, let's hope that the ELT on the plane is functioning, that the pilot filed an adequate flight plan, and that the search and rescue assets are competent.

    Medical Care for any life threatening injuries first, shelter & fire concurrent in order to preserve life, and a plan to signal and communicate with searchers next. Water is important, but you don't need to worry about food.

    Truthfully, in that scenario the pistol falls far down the list.
     
  16. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    so is the whisky

    And you can use the high alcohol content of other uses.

    I have had to do this sort of thing before but it was a “your ship is sinking, you can only fit X number of things in the life raft, what do you take” scenario.

    It turns out that I am too creative, and got lectured for “not playing along”. You see, among the items were a 5 gallon sealed plastic container of gasoline. I said to tether the container to the life raft with some of the rope that we had, and then lash more stuff to the gas container, because it would float, and thus we could carry more items than the other teams. Well, it turns out that no one else *really* wanted to survive, they just wanted to play their stupid game.
     
  17. MilsurpShooter

    MilsurpShooter Member

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    Starboard that was just wrong :D
     
  18. ptmmatssc

    ptmmatssc Member

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    That line gets me . The guys that I know that hunt with pistols(deer) are by no means "expert marksmen" . They are decent shots , yet they tend to bag deer just about every year .
     
  19. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    So which is it? Someone who's ranked as an expert, or someone who's ranked as a marksman?

    :confused:
     
  20. Kevlarman

    Kevlarman Member

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    Couldn't you use the whiskey as an antiseptic?
     
  21. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Kind of an unrealistic list of supplies too. Everyone has exactly one change of clothes? Nobody has a jacket or coat in the middle of the winter? Chocolate and whiskey for everyone, but no water, juice or soda? Just happen to have a handgun and ax, but no pocket knife? Who travels with Crisco?

    I've done quite a bit of small plane traveling for business and pleasure. Neither I nor my fellow travelers ever carried anything similar to that list. I'm assuming the ax, steel wool and compass were stored on the plane for emergencies.
     
  22. SamTuckerMTNMAN

    SamTuckerMTNMAN Member

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    :eek:

    No rocks around I suppose.

    I've done quite a few of these over the years...there's a lot of room for any teacher to manipulate the students into perceiving a certain possible outcome as most likely, tinged by the color of political preferences or personal ideas that are not based on reality. For example, someone who is not a Christian (or another religion for that matter) could not perceive or account for the power of faith and the roles of various members who share such a faith would more gladly accept. Someone without character has a hard time understanding or predicting the behavior and leadership ability of people with chiseled character and strong people skills. Your average bean head outdoor ed teacher, or even the average military survival teacher is at a disadvantage in my opinion. But hey, we all do the best we can, right?

    Interesting post.

    ST

    ps edit: Rather than assigning a preordained negative or positive value to the weapon, I WOULD say that the .45 would have perhaps the most weight in determining the depth of positive or negative that the group could experience. In the right hands it would be lifesaving, powerful, effective, perhaps. In the wrong hands it could be used for anything from rape within the group to power mongering, stealing, suicide, killing, whatever. If it were me in the group, I would make damned sure that the person with that weapon had my trust. Now there's where it gets tricky:evil:
     
  23. Lashlarue

    Lashlarue member

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    Sounds like someone watched too many eposodes of "Lost"
     
  24. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Member

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    ????? Not quite sure I believe that one...

    That one's been thoroughly debunked by Mythbusters. Modern smokeless powder burns much too quickly to get a flame started. It worked great with black powder out of a muzzle loader, though, so score one for the Mountain Men!

    I went through Arctic survival training at Ft. Greeley in the winter of '83 and then directly into Brim Frost, the lovely JCS exercise they used to hold every couple of years up there. Your most immediate and pressing needs are for fire and shelter, so those items belong at the top of the list. At the very top of the list is a survival attitude. We walked off the tail ramp of a C-130 into 75 below zero weather, and even though we had been training in the mountains of Wyoming prior to being deployed, there were guys in a palpable state of shock at the degree of cold. Young, fit, well equipped troops had to be yelled at by their NCO's to get them moving and started doing the things they needed to do to survive, much less accomplish a mission. I'd hate to try to do that with only street clothes on.
     
  25. Sage of Seattle

    Sage of Seattle Member

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    I think one year while I was in junior high school (yes, that was just last year -- those seventh grade placement tests are sure a b*tch) I took the "astronauts stranded on the moon" scenario. That one was much more fun, I thought.

    The thing about this test is a) the not-so-subtle moralizing on the author's part and b) his insistence that there is only one right or correct way to survive (in essence). "Because a compass might encourage someone to try to walk to the nearest town, it is a dangerous item"?? Uh, excuse me? As was pointed out by another in this thread, can't the author possibly see how traveling might be the only way to survive? Of course, then the author's perfect list would be drastically altered.

    I guess I think the emphasis is way wrong on tests like these ultimately. The "correct answer" must be reached by consensus. I guess that happens in real life all the time, especially in corporations. :scrutiny:

    I think a much more realistic scenario would be like the following:

    "You and six of your co-workers are just coming back from a business lunch when suddenly the elevator gets stuck between floors. You only have the following items available to you: a Swingline stapler (with no staples), several pads of Post-It notes (various colors), four No. 2 pencils (sharpened), one fountain pen, eight cell phones (yes, I said eight) which have no signal in this part of the building, and several quarts of perfume and Axe body spray liberally slathered on everyone.

    The mail room closes in ten minutes and if no one gets there in time, all of the company's bonus checks won't go out until Monday.

    What do you do?"
     
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