Keeping Watch

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Cimrandir
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby Cimrandir » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:12 pm

wulfgar wrote:Just to add, I was actually going to try to put and event like this together in Arkansas, but there are insurance issues with the place I wanted to ues.



Where abouts in Arkansas? I'm in North Texas at the moment and I'd be down for a moot. Been thinking about hiking Eagle Rock Loop in what little kit I have.
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wulfgar
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby wulfgar » Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:58 am

Cimrandir wrote:
wulfgar wrote:Just to add, I was actually going to try to put and event like this together in Arkansas, but there are insurance issues with the place I wanted to ues.



Where abouts in Arkansas? I'm in North Texas at the moment and I'd be down for a moot. Been thinking about hiking Eagle Rock Loop in what little kit I have.


This would have been up near Paragould which is in Northeast Arkansas. I live the the River Valley area which is sort of central.
I haven't done it, but I have heard that Eagle Rock Loop trail is a pretty tough one!
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Eofor
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby Eofor » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:06 am

This weekend we spent the night out to celebrate the winter solstice and I thought about this discussion a few times during the night and have a couple of insights to add.

It doesn't get as cold here as it does in Middle Earth but still temperatures dropped to around 2°C which is around 35°F and I couldn't help but wonder how hard it would be to keep warm on watch with a small/no fire in temperatures even lower. Would your foes not be huddled in blankets or around fires of their own unless they caught a glimpse of yours?

This led us back to the concealed camp so we did a few rounds of 'hide and go seek' which for me at least confirmed that a concealed camp would be all you would need in peaceful times. A weary soul wrapped in a blanket in a hollow is almost invisible to the eye even if you know they are there and actively looking for them.

Of course there would still be times and places when a watch was prudent as we see in the books but by and large I think I'll prioritize warm blankets and a full nights rest :mrgreen:
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BrianGrubbs
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby BrianGrubbs » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:29 pm

Ah, the fond(ish) memories of sleeping one hour on, one hour off in a two man fighting position. You run into a lot of issues pulling guard duty overnight, though as has been stated, the more people you have the easier it gets. The biggest issue is time keeping, followed closely by noise and light discipline. If you have a fire, then noise and light discipline aren't nearly as much of a concern, but that still leaves you with time. Most of the time I'm doing Ranger stuff in the woods, I'm alone, so I can't really set a watch. What I can, and so, is set up early warning devices in the most likely avenues of approach, set high enough off the ground that the smaller woodland creatures won't trigger them. That and sleeping really lightly gives me a pretty safe sleeping experience. The fact that I live in the south means that I don't really have to be near my fire for warmth, so I tend to be back from the circle of the light, which is where most curious parties would be investigating anyway (and thereby silhouetting themselves nicely in the firelight).

"Some Thoughts on Scouts and Spies" by Gerry Barker had a section on keeping guard. I'll have to dig my copy out and reference it. I believe it talked about having everyone sleeping in a circle with their heads by a tree in the center, and their feet facing out, which would facilitate a very quick and quiet change over of the guard in the night.

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Taurinor
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby Taurinor » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:24 pm

BrianGrubbs wrote:"Some Thoughts on Scouts and Spies" by Gerry Barker had a section on keeping guard. I'll have to dig my copy out and reference it. I believe it talked about having everyone sleeping in a circle with their heads by a tree in the center, and their feet facing out, which would facilitate a very quick and quiet change over of the guard in the night.

I had my copy close to hand and took a quick look. Barker suggests keeping setting more than one sentry at a time, with as much as half the scouting party on watch at a time. As you said, having everyone leaned against a tree was recommended, or for larger parties, under bushes or low trees in a starburst sort-of pattern with feet out and heads in the middle, again to facilitate changing guards with minimal noise and movement (and also so snorers can be quickly roused and quieted). He also recommends a cold-camp with no shelters, waiting till sundown to stop and leaving at dawn.

All good things to keep in mind when thinking about a Rangers-moving-through-enemy-territory mindset (although not how I think I'd prefer to go about this hobby, personally!), but nothing to the big question of timekeeping that I saw. I certainly could have missed something, though!
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BrianGrubbs
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby BrianGrubbs » Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:50 pm

That was the passage I was thinking of, thanks for looking it up!

So, for time keeping...candle clocks and hourglasses seem to be out, but what about some sort of water clock? I'd be curious to see how large a container it would take to measure one hours worth of time, or even if it's something that you could work out a modification for a cooking pot to perform. I wouldn't want to use a water bottle that I drink out of, because drinking water it precious, and the idea of starting the day with an empty waterskin just hurts me, lol.

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BrianGrubbs
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby BrianGrubbs » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:54 am

This little section from “A Knife in the Dark” caught my eye:
D150448A-BD45-4034-B519-10719E90B07D.jpeg
D150448A-BD45-4034-B519-10719E90B07D.jpeg (48.62 KiB) Viewed 581 times
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Greg
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby Greg » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:58 am

Must be nice to be blessed with Numenorean heritage!
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Eofor
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby Eofor » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:37 am

Nice Brian, I couldn't find more than a handful of references off the top of my head and missed this one completely.

If I go a night without sleep I tend to have the temperament of a cave troll.
For seven days without eating or sleeping the new king sat, until he stood and cried "This cannot be borne!"!
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby Iodo » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:52 am

Eofor wrote:If I go a night without sleep I tend to have the temperament of a cave troll.

me too LOL :P
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Manveruon
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Re: Keeping Watch

Postby Manveruon » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:22 pm

WOW this got a ton of great replies! I haven’t been able to sit down and read through them all just yet, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t just abandon the thread entirely, because it seems like there’s some great info here! I will get back to it and reply in-depth just as soon as I’m able!

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